Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fashion Cent$

Keeping children clothed is a challenge on a budget.  Items are pricy and keeping up with growth spurts can be a nightmare.  There are some ways to clothe kids that are less expensive than others...I will give a list of ideas where to find bargains for clothing and then rate them in order of Most Frugal Method~

1. Given free.
2. Thrift store.
3. Consignment shop.
4. Home made/handmade.
5. Sales
6. Discounted
7. Swaps.
8. Garage/Yard sales.
9. Coupon or other money off prices.
10. End of season discounts.
11. Hand me downs.
12. Auction

Did I miss any ways?? Give me a holler if I did and tell me where to put it in this next list! ;-))

MOST Frugal to Least. . .
1. Free  We can't beat free.  Free can be in the form of somebody sharing with us or just handing down our used items to our next child, but FREE is FREE! It beats all the deals! Free can be a swap too~as long as no money is exchanged~it's free right?

2. To rate these next ones, I must admit that attitudes and beliefs will come into play as well as our budget.  Is lightly used or used as good as new, but may cost a little more?  You decide your values, but for me when I had little children I paid as much as $10 and $20 per churchy dress outfit per child because they were sometimes hundreds of dollars and were not hurt by the original owner! So here's my list from #2 on:

Garage/Yard sales~I've found often that people having these  generally know what to ask to move their merchandise quick.  The rule of selling is to be sold out as quick as possible by pricing accurately because the longer the day the less the money.  Many will go for less quicker in order to move items quicker, but then I also have 'shopped' later and found items that while earlier in the day folks were not dickering obviously by what was STILL there, so I found great stuff for less~jeans generally $1; tops $.50-$1 depending! But anyway you look at it, the next two on my list gain their merchandise from the yard sales and they are out to make

3. Thrift stores.  I have found these to be a little pricier than the garage/yard sales, but sometimes you can find some real jems! My daughter got two brand new items today for $9 that either would have been three times as much! Both had the tags still on them! Whoohoo!

4.  Consignment Shops.  Now this again depends upon philosophy, because often you will pay a good bit more than the thrift store or garage/yard sale for items, but if you are thinking discounted new, then you will want to compare the prices here.  I have found discounted items to be about a less as consignment shop prices for new verses old or used stuff! So take your pick here! I just want to enourage you to shop until you find what you need at a GREAT price and doing this means you KNOW what an item will go for regularly...

5. Discouted retail: Can be out of season items or marked down, but these compete in price often with consignments...

6. Auctions are a toss up...I've never bought clothing this way, so I am unsure...except on eBay.  So I'd say know your prices because you can end of paying too much!

7. Home/handmade: Frabric prices have driven me away from my sewing machine! I was shocked when I shopped for plain ole cotton-poly blend for some curtains. . .gone are the $1 a yard or less days! My mother made all my formals when I was in high school and college from the fifty-cents a yard tables at the local fabric store~no more! So this is really an investment when you consider materials and your time...there are too many clothes begging for homes on the cheap!

This prioritized list is MY own ideas of values and value for my clothing budget.  Notice I said NOTHING about name brands or the like? They don't enter into this equation for me because I can find some of these at our most inexpensive places.  For growing kids, this can be a challenge to keep them clothed. We are so blessed!

It makes sense to have a value for values in fashion cent$

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