By Jeana Lee Tahnk
Having kids is expensive, there's no doubt about that. They areconstantly growing: There was a period of time when I was getting newshoes for my son every month because his feet were getting so big. Mystrategy is to buy kids' clothes a size larger than they actually need,but eventually those too-long pants end up looking like clam diggers.
Luckily, we have a hand-me-down network that I have come to rely on.My nephew and niece are four years older than my kids, which means weget recycled clothes. Yay! However, the inventory of clothes haslessened over the years. Boo.
We are recipients of my brother-in-law's kids' clothes, and we handoff our kids' clothes to close friends of ours. But it's funny how thecycles of hand-me-downs work, because we recently received back a bag ofclothes for our baby that we had given them. Who says a good t-shirtcan't last for six years? And be prepared for those nostalgic momentswhen you see others wearing your kids' old clothes. Sniff.
And don't neglect the inter-family hand-me-down cycle, a clear-cutchoice if your kids are the same gender. But even if they aren't, you'dbe surprised at how many items can be passed down. My daughter wore myson's clothes when she was younger, cute little shorts and t-shirts thatshe'd wear to bed. There are a lot of those basic items-white t-shirts,plain shorts, sweatshirts-that can be shared freely among familymembers.
Mothers' groups are another opportunity for a wealth of babyclothes. There always are moms out there who want to give away or selltheir kids' clothes to clear space for new sizes and styles.
And you can even look online for great used and consigned kids'clothes, if you're willing to take the time to go through the site tofind what you need. Some sites even allow you to send in clothes you nolonger need.
Being a little resourceful and taking advantage of the likelynetwork of recycled clothes in your area can end up saving you lots overthe long run. Here's to being frugal!
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