This is a guest post from Kerri at Kerri on the Rocks.
Alright, first and foremost, this is a post about how to save some serious cash when shopping for children’s clothing. However, I feel it just needs to be said, kids are freaking expensive. I Googled it for you and the USDA estimates it costs about $233,610 to raise a child in the US. So, if you are feeling like these adorable little joy bundles are burning through more than just your energy and sanity, you would be correct. They’re probably also burning your budget.
So let’s talk how to offset that cost and pull in some resources to make this whole parenting gig a little kinder on your wallet. One way that I save money is by hitting up consignment sales and shopping second hand as often as possible.
Now that I’ve been shopping second hand for a while I actually prefer it to buying new. There are definitely some benefits beyond just saving money that keep me using this system. For example:
OK, so now I’ve got you sold on the benefits let me line up a clean strategy for how you can absolutely kill it the next time you second-hand shop.
It’s probably a good idea to start a small sinking fund just for kids clothing. Think about how much you might spend in new clothes for the upcoming year and set aside a little money from each paycheck just for this. It is so much less stressful to shop when the money is already there and has a clearly marked purpose. I say this not just because I’m a ranting and raving fan of budgets… which of course I am.
I love hitting up my local consignment stores when they have major sales. President’s Day, Back to School, anything to get an additional percentage off my final total in store.
The flip side of shopping in stores though, shopping consignment sales!
At consignment sales you get a different opportunity than you have in a store. There can be more variety because the owners of the clothing have brought their best, no sales clerk going through to weed out what they consider dud items (sometimes having the duds pulled out before listing for sale can be a good thing, but I’ve also had brand new with tag items turned away because they were offseason).
Many consigners bring their toys, shoes, and clothing to these sales because they know they will see a better monetary return than if they brought them to a store. So you’re getting better selection, better quality, and better variety. That is A LOT of “better”, my friends.
Sales can be busy, fast-paced and little scary the first time (OK, it’s not just the first time). One way to try and bypass as much hectic as possible is to see if there is a way you can get into the sale early. Ask if your local sale needs volunteers, or perhaps has early admission passes for sale. Depending on what is for sale, paying a little extra to get in early can be worth it (key word here is LITTLE no need to start burning budget just to get in the door).
At one sale in my area parents of multiples (twins, triplets, you know that kind of superhero parent) bring their items to consign and other parents of multiples get a pass to hit the sale early. My friend who has twin daughters usually hooks me up with one of her early admission passes, which is very cool of her. Ask around your group of friends, you might have a buddy who can get you a hook up too!
Being the type of person who walks into a store with no idea what I want to buy has never worked out well for me. Actually, that is exactly how you leave Target with half the dollar spot and who knows what else.
So, make a list of what you need. Snow gear? Rain gear? A full season’s worth of new clothes or a few staples? Go in with a plan and stick as close to that plan as possible. There is so much shiny, beautiful, distracting stuff and partner that with a business that makes you want to start grabbing merchandise in a panic. Just save yourself before you even get there and know exactly what you need going in. I say it again, whatever you do, stick to your plan!
It will make your life so much easier if you bring your own totes, trust me. I like to haul my super large Thirty-One utility totes and pack them full of my loot as soon as I’ve paid up. Not only is it just plain convenient to bring your own it will get you out of there quick! To avoid an overspend moment it is definitely imperative you get out of there as soon as you have what you need
Imagine you you have just pulled off Ocean’s 11, but with toddler gear and three different sets of rainboots. Lingering now will only lead to trouble, get out fast!
Those are all the tips I have for getting in and getting out and maximizing the benefit of shopping second hand. I truly hope you get to use these at the next consignment sale you visit and save yourself some time and money!
Kerri is a budgeting wiz and has so much great insight for anyone looking to start the Dave Ramsey program or just do a little bit better with the “treat yo self” beast!
I’ve been consigning and shopping at Duck Duck Goose here in Little Rock since my oldest was tiny! I’ll be at DDG Little Rock Thursday March 7th dropping my load of clothes and toys off and shopping early! The sale runs all weekend and you can find all the shopping dates here. Be sure to check out my Instagram and Facebook page where I’ll be giving away $35 in Duck Bucks!
Have a thrifty tip we missed? Leave it in the comments! Don’t forget to share with your friends!