Saving money on children’s clothes has been important to me, since the children outgrow their clothing so fast. I came home a few days ago with fresh clothing for each of my children for the fall. I usually go to a children’s resale shop. Many of these shops will give you cash or in-store credit for clothing that is outgrown, or toys that your children no longer play with. I can’t remember how many times God has provided exactly what my children needed through these resale shops. I take boxes of things I no longer need. I pray that God will provide the very things that I need for my children. When the exchange is done, only a few coins are spent. I get a huge bag of almost new, name-brand clothing for my children for (basically) free!
Yard sales are another place I go to get clothing, and I find wonderful things sometimes. But the resale shops have clothing in all the sizes of my children, and it’s all in one spot, so it’s a better use of my time. Plus, a garage sale won’t swap my old stuff for me to buy their stuff. They are in the mood to make money and don’t want any more stuff. Plus, I’ve noticed that at most yard sales, clothing isn’t even worth looking at, unless you are in a rich neighborhood. I don’t understand why people put out stained, stretched-out clothing, as if anyone would buy such garbage. This is what gives garage sales a bad name – mostly the pathetic clothing!
That said, this time I actually did spend money. That’s because I had nothing to exchange. And normally I show some sort of wisdom as I switch over the children’s clothing from summer to fall. I write down what each child lacks. If one of my children doesn’t have swim trunks (because he’s grown out of his smaller ones), I write that down. If someone’s winter jacket has a broken zipper and a missing hood, I write that down. You see, it’s like grocery shopping. I come armed with a list. And I mostly stick to the list, unless I see something wonderful that we always need, like more long-sleeved shirts for the boys, especially for my oldest boy, since he hands them down to his two younger brothers.
So I didn’t have a list for the first time, and I had nothing to swap, and I was in the mood to go shopping. I knew the kids needed fall clothing. My husband blessed my shopping spree and gave me cash. He said, “Have fun.” I felt oddly disoriented with cash in my pocket and without my list, but I cried out to God as I drove the car, that would He please provide what I needed, even though I didn’t know what it was!
God was so good. I looked through the racks, starting with size 10 for my oldest son. (I always shop for my sons first, since shopping for girl’s clothing is so much more fun!) The only thing I could find was three long-sleeved shirts. Come to find out the next day when I switched over the boys’ clothes, that’s the very thing he needed. He only had five shirts, and one or two of them looked like they might be too small. So three more shirts rounded out his only need for clothing. (I’m choked up, because only God could have known that.)
For my second son, several months ago, I asked him what he would get if he had a million dollars. His eyes got wide, and he looked like he had never thought of what he wanted before. He finally said, “A new pair of pajamas.” I laughed. I said, “What’s wrong with your pajamas?” “I’m just sick of looking at them every day,” he replied. You’ll never guess what I found at the resale shop: a new-looking, very soft and comfy pair of pajamas. He loved the color, and he was so happy.
I also found two name-brand sweaters for him, and later on I found out that he was my only son with virtually no sweaters. (Snow is on the ground up to five months here in Washington.) I also found a long-sleeved shirt he loved.
For my third son, I only found two things, but it ended up that he didn’t really need much. I found a beautiful coat for my daughter, and this was odd because her other jacket was fine except for the stains. God was so sweet, He upgraded her jacket just to make me feel rich and lavished upon. You know how God is. And I found some long-sleeved shirts, which she badly needed, having only two or three in her closet, and having to wear them every day for fall, winter, and spring.
I guess the biggest way to save money while shopping for children’s clothes is to commit your way to the Lord, and just see what He will do.
Frugal Homeschool Friday