After my post last week about how I shop from my own closet, I received lots of input on how interesting that idea was. I also shared how to shop ahead for your kids.
I was inundated with questions about how this is possible to do, plus what is my strategy to keep it all together and organized.
Posting the big pile of spring clothes on my instagram feed today also inspired more comments, emails and questions. One of the best ways we save on children’s clothing is to shop ahead for your kids.
Buy the good stuff, no matter the size.
Yes, this is a key rule when it comes to stockpiling clothes for your kids. I see so many parents looking for items within their children’s current size and maybe one size up. If you see a piece that is on the clearance rack, or in great condition at the consignment or thrift store, grab it. Don’t over-think it, just grab. Your kids will continue to grow, whether you like it or not, so grabbing a piece that might be 2 or 3 sizes big will only yield you the start of a great wardrobe for years to come. I’ve purchased boots for my girl that she won’t be able to use until she’s about 5 or 6. I don’t care. They were in pristine condition and if it turns out that she outgrows them before we get to the fall season of her 5th year, I can always sell them back to the consignment shop, or even eBay. Here’s the video I did of those cool boots:
2. Keep a price point in mind
While it’s not necessary to keep track of what you have stocked away just yet, it is important to give yourself a price point. For example, I have a big issue of going over 4 dollars for a piece. I could go to 5 or 6 dollars if it’s a really good name brand, like Ralph Lauren, Hanna Anderson, or Nautica. I know the re-sale value of that piece will be higher, so I’ll get a good amount of my money back. But when it comes to looking at staple pieces for a future season, 4 bucks is my limit. This also keeps me from going overboard on the stockpiling.
3. Check out what you have already
While I don’t really “organize” what I have on-hand for the kids, every season I do get to view the pieces I’ve collected and see the gaps I may have in a wardrobe. I can see how many winter boots we have, what coats we may need for next season and if The Duchess will need more leggings for fall. Since it’s spring right now, I’ll be able to go and nit-pick the clearance aisles and thrift stores to fill in my gaps. You can even write a list, if that’s your thing.
4. Create a dedicated space for your stockpile
Just like those crazy coupon ladies on Extreme Couponing, you need to have a space for your stockpile. What will differentiate us from the CCL’s is that we will have one small space and won’t create more room for our stockpile. By giving yourself one small space and nothing more, you also limit yourself from going overboard. I have a large tupperware container where I keep my stockpile items, and one smaller one where I put clothes that are in good condition and ready to be sold to the consignment shops. That’s it. I even do the same for my own clothes so I don’t go overboard with my own wardrobe purchases.
5. You can buy new, but be careful
I don’t prevent myself from buying new items in the stores. Yes, in season if possible. But, I still use my #2 rule. If a certain Older Navy-colored store has kids jeans for 5 dollars, I pair that up with a coupon and one of my gift cards that I save to make it even cheaper. If I can’t get it down to my 4 buck bottom line, then I don’t participate in that sale. That’s it. It is so hard to have self control when all those cute kids clothes are around, but you have to do it! Respect that budget!
Genius Stock-Up Tips From The Pros
Community Member Amanda shared these tips in the comments of this post:
I’ve bought ahead for my kids for years, and in all that time, only had 1 or 2 items that wouldn’t work and that was for my oldest. (They were onesies that I’d purchased in advance and he was smack in the middle of potty training…uhhh…NO!)
I also have two boys and then a girl, so it’s just natural that stuff from boy #1 will be handed down to boy #2, so I absolutely go for quality items as far as those are concerned.
For my girl, I tend to get more ‘trendy’ pieces at ON, and the basics from Gap or Gymboree to hand down to my friend’s daughter or my niece. She is MUCH harder on her clothes than my boys ever were, (go figure!)!
If you need more advice, I have a great post about how to thrift for your kids(and yourself).