Birds are singing, flowers are blooming and spring is almost here. I’m excited about taking my two girls on trips to the park, walks in their double stroller and shopping – consignment shopping that is!
I began this column to chronicle my journey of bettering myself as a mom this year. But there’s one thing I’ve already started getting the hang of: shopping on a budget for clothes, gear and toys for my girls.
Even before I had my first daughter, I learned that moms all over the South look forward to children’s consignment sales. Babies grow quickly, so their clothes and gear – like strollers and swings – are often very gently used. While still pregnant and living in Mississippi three years ago, I initiated myself into this rite of motherhood and purchased much of our baby gear at a local consignment sale.
Friends and family blessed us with many baby clothes as gifts for our first daughter, and our second daughter will wear those clothes as well. But as our children grow, I’ve had to work a little harder to dress them on a budget.
If I find myself in a department store at the end of a season, I scour the clearance racks for clothes the girls will be able to wear the next year. I’ve often nabbed quite a few fashionable finds for up to 80 to 90 percent off.
But it only happens when I drag myself into a store. I’m sure I’d find even more deals if I frequented the stores, but I’m one of the few women that doesn’t really like to shop., Now, I did grow up in a family of shoppers. Seriously, my parents would map out family vacations based on the number of outlet malls we could hit along the way. My sister followed suit, but when I was old enough to stay in the car by myself, I’d forgo the shopping and forge myself into a novel.
But since I’m now a mom, I have the responsibility of making sure my daughters are clothed (although my 2-year-old enjoys removing her clothes and diapers and streaking around the house while potty training).
I love consignment sales because they usually come around twice per year – in the fall and spring – and you can get all your shopping done in one trip.
I’ve found plenty of gently used and even new brand name clothes at these sales for a fraction of the price I’d pay at a department store. And I’ve even found expensive boutique brands and smocked dresses that looked barely used for as low as $5 to $10 each.
After seeing how far I can stretch our clothes budget at consignment sales, I don’t know if I’d buy everything new even if we had the resources to do so.
I’ve decided to start consigning at the sales. My idea is to spend what I earn – or at least what I earn can go towards what I purchase at the sales. I’m also volunteering at a sale this year. That will give me early entry into the sale and first dibs on all the great merchandise!
Do you shop at consignment sales? What are your favorite tips for consignment shopping?