So instead of buying a wardrobe for my oldest son and passing it down to my second, I simply need to purchase a wardrobe that is twice the size, and then both boys pretty much outgrow them at the same time. (It isn't that Lee is short even- he's actually a tall string bean, but that Ike is gigantic for his age.)
For my girls, I do manage to pass on some clothing from one to the other. Anneliese, nearly 5, is still bigger than Rose, but just by a smidgen, despite being over two years apart, so as soon as Anneliese outgrows some clothing, instead of putting it away, I just move it to Rose's shelf. But of course, Rose, who wants to be so big already just helps herself to the clothing on Anneliese's shelf, despite it being a little big on her.
Clothing. It gets expensive, when you need to buy a wardrobe for three kids at a time, and aren't getting hand me downs or second hand clothes. (Add the fact that our local thrift shop seems to be closed lately. I do have plans to check on one a little further away in the next little bit.)
So I realize it is money that I have to spend, so I try to make the money stretch as far as it can, getting the most for my money, the best quality clothing for the least amount of money.
I rely a lot on NextDirect.com. I know prices on the US site don't seem so cheap, but the prices are different depending on where you are in the world, and for me, prices are very low, and that includes international shipping. (The prices in pounds on the label are not even what the clothing cost me.)
I just ordered a bunch of clothing from them, the majority for Anneliese. For the boys, all the pants on their shelves are from NextDirect, as that is all they will agree to wear, and their school uniform pants are low cost- only $10 a pair for their size- and very sturdy, comfortable, and with perfect fit. For the summer, they wear various colored short sleeve polo shirts from Next as well, about $4.50 each, also great quality and fit, plus a few hand me down shirts as well (pretty much the only hand me downs currently in circulation on our shelves.) But I haven't found good long sleeve shirts for the boys from Next, so I just bought some more expensive, but still not too overpriced shirts from Vertbaudet.com, for about $8 each (plus shipping, which is a flat rate of $6.50 for the lot). In general, when buying online, I look to see if there are multipacks off various items, because they usually end up being cheaper that way than buying individually. I only bought 9 shirts from Vertbaudet, and will need to supplement it with local shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts, but this is what I've gotten so far. Fortunately it is still warm here, and their short sleeve shirts are just fine in this weather, so it isn't such a stress to get them clothes immediately.
But for Anneliese, I've been noticing that I barely have clothing for her at all. I always have to search in vain on her shelves for clothing, and often can't even come up with anything for her to wear unless I was really on top of the laundry, so knew I needed to buy her clothes pronto.
I just picked up an order that I made on NextDirect for her shirts, and I was excited to find some good quality, pretty low cost clothing. I got her 3 long sleeve shirts, plain other than a star on the lower right corner, for $3.15 each, 2 striped long sleeve shirts for $5.50 each, 1 shirt with a unicorn design, and 2 turtleneck shirts for $6.80 each, and one slightly fancier shirt for $9.45. 9 good quality long sleeve shirts for a total of $50.30, averaging out to $5.58 per shirt.
I wanted to buy skirts for her too, as I've been happy with their school uniform skirts that I already bought for her, in terms of quality, fit, and cost, but they are currently out of stock in her size, so I am debating between buying more skirts locally, or sewing them myself, which isn't hard at all.
I needed tights for her, and have been very happy with the quality and cost of the tights from Next so far, I got her a few two packs. Three of the two packs cost $3.15 per pair of tights, and one two pack of warmer tights costs $5 per pair. One pair of tights, not a two pack, cost $3.67.
Total for 9 pairs of tights- $32.57, averaging out to $3.62 per pair.
Last but not least, I bought my boys more socks... because, you know, there never are enough socks to go around.
A 7 pack of socks that works out to be $1.16 per pair of socks, and a 5 pack that is $1.37 per pair, for a total of $14.94 for 12 pairs of socks, working out to be $1.25 per pair.
Total for my order that arrived today was $97.80, which is above the $75 limit for importing things without having to pay tax. I accidentally ordered it all in one go, forgetting about that rule, and resigned myself to paying import tax, but the mail authorities let it through without my needing to pay tax, so that was nice...
A lesson for next time- I need to remember to order these clothing through a cashback site, so that I get refunded part of what I spent on their clothes.
And now- mission for today? Sort through the girls' clothes and get rid of all the clothing that is too small on Rose, decluttering before our move, and making it easier to find the clothes they already have.
For more ideas on how to save money for kids' clothing, check out Mamma.com to find tons of discounts and promo codes on most online retailers! They offer tons of discounts to help you save big when shopping for your children!
How much do you generally pay each year for clothing for your kids? What is your clothing budget? Do you use hand me downs? How many wardrobes do you generally have to buy at a time? What are your techniques for keeping down your kids' clothing costs?