Raising children does not have to break the bank. From my observation, those who complain about the cost of kids usually fall into the category I'd call "shopper". These are the people who enjoy going to the mall. A bargain justifies any purchase in their mind -- why pass up a deal! Well, this frugal mama hates the mall. And no, hate is not too strong of a word. Shopping is not entertainment for me, it is a chore. And it is a chore I try to put off as long as possible. As a result, we have spent very little money on clothing our children....and one of them is even a girl!
In addition to gladly welcoming bags of hand-me-downs, in our home dresses turn into tunics and then to shirts. And if you think she is a fashion outcast, think again. The compliments flowed last Sunday when we attended church. "That sweater is adorable, where did you find it?" or "That outfit is lovely, did you make it?" The answer is no, it is not handmade, and I found it on the clearance rack at Gap Kids in late 2010. We had a gift card, and I scooped it up for $8.
She first wore it for her naming ceremony (think Baptism but Unitarian Universalist style). Sized 9 months, it was perfect for her special day. And too precious to discard so I hung it in the closet. Later that year, the winter of 2011 she wore it as a tunic with tights. And now in the winter of 2013 she wears it more like a sweater, paired with a turtle neck. There is a slim shot that she can get one more winter sweater out of it in 2014, time will tell.
There is nothing special about this one dress; we do this with all of her dresses. It is a great trick to get as much mileage out of a girls' wardrobe as possible. And it means a little less pressure on this frugal mama to have to go clothes shopping! A win win for our budget, my stress level, and mother Earth.
Thanks for reading. It's been 8 days since my last post. Our lives are amazingly full at the moment, but my frugal habits are still here. The time to sit down and write about them is not as abundant as I'd like, but so goes life. And given that we just signed our children up for 5 full days of instruction at the Madison Waldorf School, my frugal ways will be in overdrive. Stay tuned, and keep reading....and commenting!