By Jeana Lee Tahnk
Having kids is expensive, there's no doubt about that. They are
constantly growing: There was a period of time when I was getting new
shoes for my son every month because his feet were getting so big. My
strategy 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 we
get recycled clothes. Yay! However, the inventory of clothes has
lessened over the years. Boo.
We are recipients of my brother-in-law's kids' clothes, and we hand
off our kids' clothes to close friends of ours. But it's funny how the
cycles of hand-me-downs work, because we recently received back a bag of
clothes for our baby that we had given them. Who says a good t-shirt
can't last for six years? And be prepared for those nostalgic moments
when you see others wearing your kids' old clothes. Sniff.
And don't neglect the inter-family hand-me-down cycle, a clear-cut
choice if your kids are the same gender. But even if they aren't, you'd
be surprised at how many items can be passed down. My daughter wore my
son's clothes when she was younger, cute little shorts and t-shirts that
she'd wear to bed. There are a lot of those basic items-white t-shirts,
plain shorts, sweatshirts-that can be shared freely among family
Mothers' groups are another opportunity for a wealth of baby
clothes. There always are moms out there who want to give away or sell
their 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 to
find what you need. Some sites even allow you to send in clothes you no
Being a little resourceful and taking advantage of the likely
network of recycled clothes in your area can end up saving you lots over
the long run. Here's to being frugal!
Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk