I would love to hear from all of you who care to participate in regards to how much you spend per child per year on clothing. I'm talking all seasons, shoes, undies, pjs, coats,.....everything.
I'm going to be brave and tell you all how much we end up spending here. Let me first say that without the Lord's help we definitely could not make it. We do get given a good amount of clothing, some of which we can use some we can't, but I have also begun to consign clothing. A couple years ago I stumbled across a consignment sale that is held here locally twice a year called Duds for Doodlebugs (once in the spring and once in the fall). It it owned by a stay-at-home Mom who also homeschools, and it's run by volunteers. Us basically. Anyone who volunteers gets a larger % of the sales, plus first pick of the merchandise. At first, I just shopped there and was so happy with all the nice quality and good prices, but then I realized that if I consigned I could make some money as well. Even if it just went back into the clothing that I needed to buy, it would still be helping us to save money in the long run. So that got me started.
Up to this point I had been saving my kids clothes for a couple seasons to a couple years ahead from things that were given to us, or things the older ones had outgrown, etc. But with 6 kids it was getting really hard to store that much stuff, much less keep it organized and accessible. So I started going through all my boxes and tubs and consigning stuff from that primarily. It has really paid off.
For this sale coming up, I went through the "last" of the stuff I had stored (not counting a starter set of boy/girl baby clothes for the new baby). It is so nice to have the extra storage room as well as the extra money to shop for the kids. I know that by the spring sale I will have more clothes to put in again.
I primarily shop the consignment sale for the kids because, not only do you get good prices, you also get name brand clothing. If I happen to run across a really good sale elsewhere (for birthdays) I will buy something new. And, of course, all undies/socks are new. So, all that being said, I estimated our expense for all 6 of our kids to be in the ball park of $600. That breaks down to about $100 per kid per year. Now, let me say, that with what I make at the sales, we only end up with maybe a little over a $100 worth of out-of-pocket expenses.
Again, I know that without the Lord's help, none of this would be possible. But, I am very excited about the fact that I can dress my kids well in name brand clothing (which to me translates "quality" not "prestige") for cheaper than if I bought everything new from Walmart. I will add that it IS alot of work, but the benefits are worth it to me. And isn't that part of our Mommy job anyway?
As a side note, I will occasionally do some sewing too, and I did factor that cost in, but, for the most part, I have found that the time involved is not always cost effective. I have been doing some sewing lately, but it's projects that have been on the back burner for a long time and it's high time I got them finished. Stuff like a couple pillowcase dresses for Kyla (which are very popular right now), some skirts for the girls (which is one of the harder things to find that actually fit them). They are tall and have tiny little waists so finding something that I don't have to alter after I get it is hard to do. Anyway, all that to say, I rarely have time to sew anymore, and I feel I get better results for my time and money if I just shop consignment. But I do enjoy it and if I feel the result is worth the effort then I will make time.
Sooooo, now that I've told you all my secrets, I would love to hear some of yours.
P.S. I wanted to clarify what I said about name brands. I'm not too proud to wear something from Walmart at all (and we do), but I have found that the quality of name brand clothes is better. And considering the hard wear they are going to get, I like to buy stuff that is going to look good the entire time my kids wear it, not just the first 2 times.