So this quick commercial totally cracked me up because it is SO true!!!
I know you feel me on this. Between shoes and clothes, you can certainly tell when your kids have those little growth spurts. It’s always just enough for their stuff to stop fitting and for you to have to make a run to the store for some more duds. So how do you keep their carousel of clothing going in and out of your house from becoming a financial land mine, especially when you need the next size up RIGHT NOW? Well, I have a few tips and tricks that I personally use and I hope they will help you out!
1. Special Clothes for Art Time
I’m sure we have all experienced our kids getting an outfit dirty during a paint or craft session, and realizing after the fact that they were NOT playing with washable paints. Rather than tossing that ruined top, set it aside and give it new life as the “art time” shirt. This will save you from having ruined shirts down the road as you won’t care if this one keeps getting paint on it! It was never my intention for this shirt to get ruined, but it is what it is, and I’m glad that we were able to give it a new and important job in our home. It gets worn at least twice a week, now.
2. Pop Some Tags (at the Thrift Store!)
I am a big fan of shopping for children’s clothing in thrift stores, especially infant clothing since babies grow so darn fast that they rarely have a chance to ruin their clothes before they have outgrown them. The downside of shopping in thrift stores is that it is very hit or miss, so heading into the shop with very specific things you are looking for will likely only yield disappointment. But if you head in with an open mind and an open range for sizes you will buy, you will likely have some success.
3. Buy Off Season and Off Size
On a related note, whether you are shopping in a thrift store or shopping retail, be willing to purchase larger sizes and set them aside. You can usually make fairly accurate guesses about the size your child will be in a year from now, so when you see the holiday shirts or pajamas on clearance, go ahead and get what you need for next year at a great price. The key to this strategy is having a decent storage system so that you can store your finds with other items in the same size and so that you’ll know what you have when the time comes to wear them. I have been SO grateful to my past self on many occasions when I have gotten out the next size box for my kids and found several fantastic pieces already on hand.
4. Buy New Clothes at Unbeatable Prices
While thrift stores are a great option for scoring some deals, you can’t really count on them to put together your entire wardrobe. I have a specific brand I LOVE to buy new for my girls when I know, for example, that I need solid color long sleep tops or a few pair of fun shorts. If you don’t yet know about Garanimals, let me introduce you! This line is exclusive to Walmart, and it features clothing options for sizes newborn-5T that mix and match really well. And the prices? Honestly they are just as great as what you’ll find in thrift stores! I routinely get Garanimals tops for my girls for under $4. Seriously. And my oldest will be out of size 5T in a handful of months, and then we’ll just check out 365 Kids, which is the sister line to Garanimals that goes up to size 8.
5. Kids Dress Crazy. Embrace It
While it is great to have pieces in the wardrobe that will mix and match easily, this is also the season to embrace your child’s fashion sense. As babies become toddlers and then preschoolers, they will want to have more and more say in how they dress. Let them pick and choose from their closet and wear what makes them happy, even if it doesn’t perfectly match. They will feel confident and happy that they dressed themselves, and in my experience at least, their fellow classmates are not yet overly concerned with what they are wearing, and they are dressed just as wacky, too. Just roll with it!
When it comes to dressing your kids, be sure to make great use of your network of family and friends. I can guarantee you that you personally know people who have clothes that would fit your child sitting in a box in their attic or their storage shed and that they would LOVE to let you have, let you borrow, or let you buy those clothes from them. Barring a happy accident, we are finished having kids, and I seriously delight in passing down the clothes my youngest has outgrown. I love getting to see them live on in other kids’ closets, and quite frankly, I love freeing up the space in my home! Don’t ever be afraid to ask!
7. See What You Can Repurpose
There are a few items in my girls’ wardrobes that I have discovered can take on new lives, even after they are too small for their intended purpose. For example, a twirly dress might become too short as your child grows, but they could still fit in it, otherwise. Pair it with some leggings and the dress turns into a top! As your child outgrows their pants, in some cases they might be able to pass as capris, or if you are handy with a sewing machine, you might be able to turn them into shorts. We’ve even successfully repurposed baby legs that my girls used as infants into leg warmers during dance class, or even arm warmers as a wacky fashion statement (see #5).
These are just a few ideas I personally use to help keep my girls outfitted for school and play without breaking my bank. I hope they give you a few ideas to try out. And I’d LOVE to hear some of your strategies so that I can learn from you! Be sure to leave me a comment below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Garanimals. The opinions and text are all mine.