Clothing my Kids for Free

Or really close to it! Jidge is 3, I have spent about $100 combined in his life on his clothing and that counts shoes and socks. My daughter is only 4 months but I have a wardrobe organized and stored through 2T and I have spent $20 ($8 on hairbands, of course, and $12 on baby leggings).

How have I managed this? My kids are out in public fully clothed everyday and living in Ohio that is actually 3 wardrobes (winter, spring/fall, summer) spanning 3 years now!

It’s not a groundbreaking strategy at all, I never turn down free clothes!!! I am a teacher and active in my church and community which means when the belly gets big a lot of people start offering and I graciously accept! I am from Alabama about a 1,000 miles away so this is not from family (although we have gotten some from long distance relatives a time or two as well:),  these are just friends…and even friends of friends (hey my friend had a garage sale and they had a lot leftover so…here ya go soon to be mommy!).

This is the core of my children’s clothing, gently used hand-me-downs from people they often don’t even know but there are times we don’t have enough of a certain size during the correct season, when that happens I hit the kids resales! I have only had to do it twice and once I got about 40 items for $30 and the next I got about 25 for $20, thanks to timing (toward the end when they are desperate to unload stuff) and bargaining (hey would you take $5 for this whole bag?). [I have gone to resales other times and gotten some other awesome finds like my $40 train table with 2 trundle drawers but this is strictly about the clothes].

This does require preparation though, you can’t realize last minute that you are out (resales here take place primarily in the fall and spring). Enter the dollar tree (which I have written about my love affair with here). I go and buy their closet “space saver” bags, the jumbo ones and every season I sort clothes using them: storing or passing on outgrown ones, pulling out current ones and putting away any that might still fit next season. By doing this I minimize the amount of stuff in the dresser/closet (these are stored on the shelf in the closet out of the way until needed) and am able to keep track of what I will be needing in the near future.

The only things I buy new are socks (dollar bin at target, I collect the different characters as they come out) and shoes (which I try to buy off season so I can get awesome sale prices) and since we are potty training soon undies.

If hand-me-downs don’t fit or are the wrong season we just pass them on with the rest of that size/season 🙂

Here’s a pic of my $30 dollar haul (there are also $7 worth of toys pictured 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Clothing my Kids for Free

  1. We are in the same boat. We’ve managed to purchase almost no clothing for our children these past 5 years As a parent, you just have to be willing to let go of what you would actually “like” to dress your kids in, and (admittedly) that can be hard. I don’t want my kids to wear bright green skinny jeans. But, alas, that’s what came in the bag’o’free clothes. . So now my kids wear bright green skinny jeans and red converse. It’s all very Christmas-y. And I get over it. Because it was free.

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    1. Yes! I also reuse so my poor daughter is mistaken for a boy anytime she gets messy because the diaper bag and school bag is stocked with extra outfits that happen to be blue hand me downs from big brother 🙂

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