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I just wondering about some of the things that you can do to cut back on your child expenses.<br><br>
I have always found this to be helpful when I buy clothes for my ds.<br><br>
A lot of the fall/winter clothing is going to clearance. If you buy something that will fit your dc next fall/winter it will be half off, as oppose to paying full price a year later. This is one thing that I do to help with child expenses.<br><br>
I can honestly say though, that my son is my greatest investment.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Yes, buying off season is what I do , too. You just have to know exactly what size they are going to be when they are going to wear those clothes, though.<br><br>
And I also utilize consignment shops. We have some excellent ones where I live. Soon I will be taking all of DDs outgrown summer clothes from last year to consign - then with the credit I get, I will buy her a whole new summer wardrobe at the same store. Also, this store sells toys - so we buy and consign toys as well.
 

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All great ideas. If you have more children or plan to, use for next sibling if all possible which I realize is not always the case. Such as My dd1 Liz, when she was 12 mos old, it was spring/summer. Her clothes were all summer clothes. Well Maggie turned 12 mos this past week and its cold cold cold outside so I need 12 mos winter clothes.<br><br>
But I have most of my older dds clothes which I will pull out each season and decide if MAggie can use.<br><br>
I also either sell things or give away. I had a mass amount of girly baby clothes I gave to another mama, she was thrilled. Thats saving money! So find someone who likes to give things like perfect clothing and shoes away and find something you can trade or just take their generiousity.
 

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I've never had luck with buying clothes a year ahead of time. dd grows in spurts. So far for this winter (Oct-Mar here) dd is on her 3rd pant size. Shoes are the same way. dd could wear one size for 6m and then go through a size in 2m.<br><br>
So far, hand-me-downs work the best. Take what fits and anything too big, and pass the rest on.<br><br>
Right now we don't have a good hand-me-down chain, so I just buy as few clothes as possible, and do thrift stores as much as possible, and hope dd out grows them before she out wears them, or stains them horribly.
 

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We've found some great deals on Craig's List. We just found a high chair for $30, which was less than half what we'd budgeted for it.<br><br>
I haven't tried to buy clothes off season, but I'd like to check into some consignment stores.
 

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Craigslist, freecycle, MDC TP, thrift stores especially on their sale days. Trading with friends.... also I find that when I donate to thrift stores I'll then go in and find <b>exactly</b> what I needed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I am a yard saler and thrift store shopper. Normally all I have to buy brand new are shoes, socks and undies.<br><br>
Toys except for gift times are bought used.
 

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TJ Maxx has great wooden toys and stuff for much cheaper prices especially when they are on clearance. I just check often and usually find some OK deals there.
 

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I do what the other posters have suggested. I buy most of DS's clothes a season ahead. I SAH, so we have no daycare expenses, that's a biggie.
 

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Freecycle!<br><br>
I have got a crib, crib mattress, robeez, stride rites, and a change table, also lots of toys from freecycle.
 

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Buying most everything used- clothes, gear, books. I skip the consignment stores for clothes since the prices are pretty high here and stick to hunting through co-op rummage sales where things go for change. New clothes are usually bargain clearances. For childcare we split the days between me, my husband, each of my parents and now a part-time preschool. We have never had to pay for full-time childcare even though we both have either been working or in school full-time.
 

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I shop at thrift stores too - my local goodwill does anything 4t and under for .99 - which is a great deal.<br><br>
Free cycle is so so around here.<br><br>
Another thing I do is watch for the large trash pick up {2x yearly} and drive the local streets. You'd be amaze how much good furniture gets out out becuase people just don't want it anymore!<br><br>
What I can't use - I yard sale to raise more $$$
 

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Garage sales for clothing. I also like to shop at Kohl's. They are always having 50% off sales. Target has good sales too. I take careful inventory of Ds's clothes and only buy what he needs.
 

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Breastfeeding, cloth diapering, only buying things they really NEED, not things I think would be neat, IYKWIM.<br><br>
We are blessed to have several families handing down clothes to us, so the ONLY things I've bought for ds are a pair of shoes, a winter hat and gloves, and a few pair of pjs. I bought most of those things with gift cards we got when he was born but never had any use for.
 

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Wow...so many things!<br><br>
We shop using freecycle, hand-me-downs, thrift stores, garage/rummage/estate sales, eBay, MDC TP, discount clearance stores like TJMaxx, shop end of season clearance sales.<br><br>
I first try to find something used and then fill in the gaps with discounted new items. Shoes, underwear, and sleepwear are nearly always new.<br><br>
We co-sleep and sling so cribs weren't a need for us.<br><br>
BFing fed both kiddos for the first six months and then we slowly added in whatever foods we were eating.<br><br>
We cook from scratch most of the time and grow a vegetable garden. We do a lot of home preserving (pressure canning, drying, vacu-seal, etc.) of foods we buy in bulk or grow ourselves.<br><br>
We used cloth diapers for both kids as well. We got a fabulous stash of hand-me-down prefolds for the youngest.<br><br>
We ask grandparents to add money to the kids' savings accounts for gifts (they all live out of state) and then we can use that to buy the occasional new toy, shoes, etc.<br><br>
Most toys are either gifts or purchased used.
 

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I buy most of DS's clothes on E-bay or the TP and then resell them when he outgrows them. I do the same for my own clothes. You can buy most baby gear/kid gear used and that saves you quite a bit of money, then just resell when they outgrow to pay for the next size up.
 

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Alas, we haven't had much success buying clothes a season ahead -- it's hard with toddlers since they grow unevenly. But I have started buying his pants a size or two big and taking a tuck in at the sides of the waist and rolling them up at the hem. Then when they start to get too tight or he gets too tall for them we just get out the seam ripper. It's nice to see him actually able to wear stuff enough that it doesn't look brand new when we hand it down, you know?<br><br>
This is probably going to be flame-bait, but we've saved a lot of money by NOT listening to parenting advice/zealot people who believe certian things MUST BE BOUGHT NEW for every child.<br><br>
We have a lovely hand-me-down crib. I'm an intelligent adult and feel fully capable of measuring the slat distance with a rule and checking over the mechanics in minute detail to assure that it's safe for my son. We also got a used crib mattress, which had the bonus of having already outgassed. Both our car seats are used; given to us by close friends we trust whose last baby had grown out of them. And we don't have a $250 Britax seat, either. We have the consumer reports best model, which cost a fraction of the price. I know this is something that every parent has to make their own decisions about, but I hate the pervailing opinion that more $$ = more safety.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momto l&a</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7329594"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am a yard saler and thrift store shopper. Normally all I have to buy brand new are shoes, socks and undies.</div>
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Me too! My dd is now 8 and the only new things I have ever bought were three pairs of shoes, socks and undies. I think I spend about $20- to $30 a year on clothes (yard sale prices have been going up a bit though). I shop ahead about 5 years (kids fashions change, but not that much really. And some elastic kicks the dust during storage, but most clothes have been fine.) Nearly all the toys are also from yard sales, as is much of the child furniture. I also learned how to bake cheap and nutritious (and tasty!) food so the kids can eat and celebrate all of the holidays with homemade cake/cookies/pie, etc. I am always really shocked when I see what some family members spend on simple holidays -- Valentines candy, Halloween costumes (great to put together from yard sale dress up clothes) and candy, giant blow up turkeys, professional Christmas light displays, mail box covers, etc. I cannot for the life of me figure out they can afford it! I also cannot figure out where they actually buy the stuff, but I haven't shopped at a mall in at least 10 years, so what do I know?
 

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i'm a HUGE garage sale fan. (<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> one of my friends was just telling me last week that she CANNOT wait for april or may... the start of garage sale season!) last summer, dd and i went every saturday. i got all of her winter clothes (thankfully i also bought 2T since some of her 18 mos stuff is getting small) for $1 an outfit or less. (i usually try for a quarter per item, but i was getting to the end of the season with little luck in her size/season.) i got a big tote of like new name brand baby clothes for our new ds for $20 (including the tote)! i got a nojo sling for $2.<br><br>
ITA with belleweather that you dont need all new things. i actually prefer secondhand stuff because its much cheaper... and i have fun looking for it. and i'll feel less guilty selling the stuff at my own garage sale at a fraction of the original price when it was barely used. i cant see spending a fortune on things my kids will only use for a few months.
 
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