One of the easiest ways I’ve saved money with kids is by buying them second-hand clothing. This can save so much money, especially when they’re babies and flying through the sizes so fast- you can find baby clothes that are like-new, for really cheap!
Buying second-hand clothing also allows me to clothe my kids in better name brands than I could afford new.
Second-hand clothing can be found at thrift stores and consignment shops, but my favorite place for buying it is at yard sales or garage sales. I find that the prices are much cheaper there than at used stores, and I can usually find great quality if I take the time.
Here are some finds I got this last weekend from yard sales I went to. After these pictures, I have some tips for buying second-hand clothing at yard sales!
Little Man begged me for these shirts. I normally try to avoid character clothing, but he really wanted these. The person having the yard sale was asking $1 each. I asked if she would do $1 for all of them, and she said, “Sure!” It never hurts to ask!
A skirt that Miss Magoo didn’t really need, but I liked, so I splurged on it (hey, 25¢ can’t be beat!).
Pants for Little Man. These pants are a couple sizes up from where he’s at, but finding boy’s pants in good condition used is pretty tough, so I grab them when I see them!
Total cost of purchases: $9.75
Number of items purchased: 24
Average cost per item: 40¢
This was a great yard sale day, and I don’t always find such great deals. But when I do find them, I love saving the money!
Hints for purchasing second-hand clothing at yard sales:
- Consider what sizes will be coming up for your children, and if you find great quality, buy ahead (I keep totes with the next sizes up).
- Know what you’re willing to pay for certain items and stick with it.
- Know what items your children need (for instance, does your son have tons of pants but no shirts?) and buy only those.
- Check each garment carefully for holes or stains that look like they won’t wash out.
- Know the neighborhoods in your area and plan your yard sale route. If you’re just driving around aimlessly, you will be wasting any money you would have saved on clothing.
- As you yard sale, you will figure out which neighborhoods typically offer closest to what you’re wanting. There are some neighborhoods in my city where the clothing is typically higher end name brands, but the pricing at the yard sales is also higher. If you’re willing to pay more for better name brands, go for those neighborhoods. If you’re really trying to make ends meet, you will probably want to go to slightly less affluent neighborhoods where the clothing will be cheaper brands at cheaper prices.
- Be willing to dicker. Dickering or bargaining isn’t easy for me. But I’ve been amazed that 9 times out of 10, if I ask the person if they would take less for an item, they will.
Do you go to yard sales, or buy second-hand clothing? If so, do you have any other tips you would add?
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