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post #21 of 30
For me the key has been keeping a list of what I already have. I keep a tub for each child of "to grow into" clothes and have a list on my computer of what is in it. I do not plan to repeat the 20+ pairs of trousers that DS had one year (I had already overbought when my sister passed on some from her little one)

For store sales I tend to only buy 1 size ahead and mostly t shirts and stuff that will be worn year round.

When it's car boot season and things are 20 - 50p I'll buy a bit further ahead or more seasonal. I have had enough hits that the occasional thing that doesn't get worn is not a problem.

Socks and undies I usually get as the need arises.

Fortunately my kids are not picky about looks yet, although they are both picky about fabric and things being to stiff/scratchy.
post #22 of 30
I have boys. Until they are potty training age, they tend to wear one piece outfits (either shirt/overalls or one piece romper things). After that, it's jeans/khakis plus a t-shirt/polo shirt. Easy, easy, easy.

I, too, keep a list. We have a good amount of storage, and I'll buy any size if it's a classic and cheap (like $1 or less for clothing, $2 or less for like-new shoes). If it's the size I need for the coming season (like, right now, I'm looking for summer, since we start wearing short sleeves in March), then I'll pay a little more. But, by always looking ahead, I usually have quite a few things before the crunch time hits. Again, luckily, my boys aren't picky yet. We favor Merrells for winter (good for play and dress up) and Keens for summer (good for play, and the winter Merrells will work for dress up). Makes it quick to look through the thrift selection.

And, luckily, we have an enormous amount of mom-to-mom style consignment sales to choose from each season (like 35+ in my county alone, and I live in a several county metro area). Those are a boon if I haven't thrifted well all year. They are a little more expensive, but easy to shop.
post #23 of 30
I usually buy only basics and things that coordinate well to make different outfits. I also don't overbuy and to buy quality pieces.
post #24 of 30
I haven't read through the other responses so this will probably duplicate some of them.


1. Buy clothing in one color family for easier matching (DD1 likes pink, fuschia, purple)
3. We stick to solid color tops and patterned pants/skirts
2. Buy only clothing that is soft cotton without structured waistbands
3. Combine them into outfits as we buy and donate any extras that don't match (easy to do when we only pay 99 cents or less per piece)
4. Keep a computerized list of what garments (dresses, shirts, pants, skirts, etc) we have in what sizes and seasons (cold weather, warm weather, etc)

We shop primarily at thrift stores, garage sales, consignment shops, etc. Rarely will I buy anything new and even then it's on deep discount.

Over time we've narrowed our purchases down to a few brands that we really like - Land's End, LL Bean, Hanna Andersson, Children's Place, and some of the Target brands depending upon the weight of the knit. This has also enabled us to re-use the clothing for DD2. I'm not sure how many kids have worn these clothes, but they're still going strong!

95% of DD1's wardrobe is soft cotton knits because she won't tolerate wearing clothing with fixed waistbands (she even wears the elastic waist knit pants below waistline). Her outfits are often either loose playdresses with leggings or skirts with knit cotton tops.
post #25 of 30
I was going to say use gymbucks to buy mark downs b/c I used mine last night, so it's on my mind - but you already know about that Most of the sale item are long sleeve and fall/winter stuff, so it might be nice to stock up for next year. Speaking of, gymbofriends has a buy/sale/trade board that you can get great deals on both new and used clothing (not just gymbo, but gap, J&J, Boden, etc.).

For me, I have 4 kids, the oldest being a girl and the younger 3 - boys 2 years apart. So, as long as DS1's clothes last, they can be passed down. It helps that their birthdays are within the same month, so season-wise they fit into the older ones clothes.
post #26 of 30
I buy only a few new things on clearance for just this reason. I find that it winds up fitting them but it's the wrong season or they don't like it or something like that. But sometimes deals are just too good to pass up. Like this week I found two sets of pj's for less than $4. Can't beat that. I bought them in two big sizes for the baby. If he doesn't wear them, the tags stay on and they make great gifts. Or I can re-sell on Craig's List.
I have gotten great in-season deals at Kohls and JCPenney. Also, my in-laws will always ask what my kids want for Christmas and birthdays and I always give them their clothing sizes so they get a lot of new clothes that way.
Everything else we buy used. And I save all my oldest son's stuff for my younger son. If a neighbor offers me their used clothes from their kids, I take it, keep what we can use and give away the rest.
post #27 of 30
I can't really buy ahead frugally. I never know what size my kids will be and I tend to over-shop when I buy ahead. I may pick up things in the next size up, but they go right into rotation usually.

I had luck getting a coat last year for my 2 year old for this year, only $6 on clearance. At that price I almost bought the whole rack to donate to a local "Coats for Kids" charity. The coat was a great buy. Of course my BIL/SIL cleaned out a storage space and gave me all their sons hand-me-downs - which included 4 size 2T coats and 2 pairs of 2T snowpants.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
I actually think you should probably buy less, regardless of when you buy. Chances are, you buy too many clothes, especially if there are so many you forget about them.
There are 7 days in a week. If your child has more than 7 outfits...why?
This is great advice. My 3 yo son has a huge wardrobe thanks to gifts, super cheap thrift stores, yard-sales, etc. and yet I always reach for the same 3-4 outfits when they are clean. I am vowing this year to buy much less even if it is only 50 cents an item. He just doesn't need that much.

I also agree with the advice to buy mostly basic stuff like jeans on clearance. Things that you can't go wrong with.
post #29 of 30
I purchase most of DD's clothing ahead of time (and have done so since I was pregnant with her!). I love taking advantage of end of season sales.... DD wears a lot of solid colors in soft cotton. Plus, I make sure that most every piece easily coordinates with several other pieces. Therefore, it is rather easy to size up and stock up on the basics. I store all of her clothes in her closet. Everything is hung up so I can easily keep track of what I have on hand. Most importantly, I don't buy too many pieces of clothing. DD has always had just enough clothing to outfit a week (with a couple of extra pieces to account for a necessary wardrobe change due to an accident).
post #30 of 30
I recently had the buy-in-matching-colours brainwave for DD. She's my only child and we haven't had many hand-me-downs for a while, and I've been learning to sew (and learning about the evils of the fashion industry, somewhat coincidentally). For some reason she has heaps of tops and very few bottoms, and the tops don't tend to match the bottoms.

So my plan for next season (the fall/winter seasons) is to buy about five different kinds of fabric in colours that all go together: mostly solids with a few dots/prints/florals. And figure out approximately how many of what she needs - trousers, tops, dresses, jackets, bloomers, hats, whatever takes my fancy. Then I can make them all and they'll all "go"!

What I should really do is figure out the colours I want now, so instead of buying all the fabric new I can look out for XL skirts in the thrift store and so on to make recons from.

Could you do a similar thing, only using store-bought clothes instead of fabrics?
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