It’s just about time to take the winter clothes out of my kids’ dressers and start shopping for warm-weather wear. They’re growing so fast that I know last year’s duds won’t even come close to fitting them this year. Even over the course of the last couple of months, many of my son’s pants have reached the high-water mark, and some of the shirts that fit my daughter in September now show her belly button if she raises her arms too high. (Naturally, those are the clothes they insist on wearing every day!)
But at least I only have two children to worry about. Larger families, like Kate Gosselin‘s, have bigger challenges. However, with a little strategizing and a thrifty mindset, keeping a family dressed nicely doesn’t have to be a budget-busting affair.
In her latest blog for Coupon Cabin, Kate shares her secrets for saving on kids’ clothes.
One advantage she has is having two older daughters – Mady and Cara – whose outgrown clothes can be passed down to younger sisters Leah, Alexis and Hannah.
“Each season, I take an entire day (it’s on my to-do list right now!) and spend it in my basement sorting clothing,” Kate writes. She has an assortment of bins labeled by size, all filled with hand-me-downs from both her girls and from friends. She sorts what she needs, takes the clothes up to the kids’ dressers and switches out the previous season’s items.
“I can’t tell you how much money I have saved by “shopping” in my basement!” she exclaims.
The clothes outgrown by the younger Gosselins are either donated or put into a consignment store where Kate can earn a few extra dollars toward new items. “Typically, I’d say that I have to buy the most clothing for Cara and Mady and the boys,” she says. “My bins don’t quite stretch to fit all of their needs.”
When she does buy new clothes, she chooses ones a size or two larger so that her clan can wear them as long as possible. And the hand-me-down strategy even works among the sextuplets, three of whom are a little bigger than their siblings. “I take advantage of the fact that even Hannah and Alexis can pass their clothing and shoes down to Leah,” she says. “Collin can also do the same for Joel and Aaden!”
The family also saves on school clothes because the kids wear uniforms. It costs about $700 to outfit them for the year, but there are no hassles about what to wear on school days or worries about buying fashionable gear.
“I try not to let the expense of clothing 8 kids overwhelm me,” Kate concludes. “I take it one season at a time and one year at a time.”
Sensible philosophy. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a drawerful of too-short leggings and jersey shirts to sort. The 3-year-old down the block will be well-dressed in a year or two!
[Photo: via Kateplusmy8.com]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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