I’m gearing up for my multiples club’s big fall consignment sale, so my house is full of piles and bins filled with clothes ready to be tagged and sold. Just a few weeks’ ago, I did a clothes inventory for my son and my twin daughters. They tried on all the clothes from last spring, and I made a shopping list. Now I’m off to shop the local consignment sales and then my favorite online retailers for the clothing we need.No matter where I shop, I follow these three rules every season:
- I buy the best quality clothing I can while sticking to my budget.
- I take good care of what we have (and teach my children to do the same).
- I resell my kids’ clothing in good condition to recoup my costs.
At the upcoming consignment sales, I look for good brands that I know can handle multiple washings and last through more than one child. My goal is to resell them at the end of our use, so that I can recoup some of my cost and give me cash to replace clothes the next season.
If I do need to buy retail—which I do with my son who needs “Slim” sized pants—I wait until an online sale comes up, then combine coupons with cashback from Ebates. I prefer to get free shipping, then I can have the kids try their clothes on in the comfort of our home, and I can drive to the store to return clothes if needed. Shopping online, I find better selection, with the added bonus of not having to drag kids along to a store to sort through messy clearance racks.
Whether clothes are used or new, I take care of them to stretch my dollars and get better value. I’ve taught my children to care for their clothes by letting me know if there’s a spill or stain (so I can use a stain stick right away), and they change out of “good” clothes into playclothes to play outside, do art projects, etc. We wear our jeans twice before washing, and if long-sleeved tees are stained or too worn, they can be used as undershirts or with layered looks.
Once my kids have outgrown their clothes, I sort them into “Sell” and “Donate” piles. I give away clothes to local charities, to other moms of multiples, or on Freecycle. I save my “Sell” piles until the twice-a-year consignment sale, and I earn enough money to put back into my clothing budget for the next season.