Kids Clothes Don’t have to Cost a Fortune

I don’t know about you but I don’t like spending a boat load of money on clothes.  I used to work in promotional products and if you knew how much profit they make selling you a $20 t-shirt with a snazzy logo you would rarely buy one again (unless it’s to support an awesome cause).

Also, my child grows like a weed.  We bought him a pair of cowboy boots in October to go with his Cowboy Halloween costume and by November he had outgrown them.  I bought my son a handful of pants for the winter a few months back because I thought it might be cold, but our Texas winter only lasted a couple of days before the weather warmed back up making long pants unbearable.  I went to his drawer to grab him some shorts only to discover that most of them were not going to fit and his swim trunks for his swim lessons were getting a little snug.  I knew I would be having to make a shopping trip for him.

I went to my favorite kid’s resale store during my lunch break the next day and I scored.  I found 10 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of swim trunks and 4 shirts for right around $50.  That’s less than $3.50 per item average and I got him practically a wardrobe of clothes that should last well into summer as long as he doesn’t grow too much more… Two of the shorts still had tags on them, I always find superhero wear and all the clothes still have a lot of wear in them.  I have to say I’ve found some of the most awesome shirts at the thrift stores, All the SuperHero’s, Disney’s Cars, Monster Trucks, Dinosaurs, Curious George and Dr. Seuss.  I don’t think I ever would have found those last two anywhere else, and definitely not at less than $5 a piece.  I have a rule that I won’t spend more than $5 on an item of clothing for my child unless it’s a specialty piece like a jacket or shoes.  Unfortunately, the weather just took a turn back to cold, but thanks to my $50 fall wardrobe purchase he has plenty of warm pants.

If you’ve never been thrift shopping I encourage you to give it a try, and not just for the kiddo’s.  I am currently wearing a pair of Express Jeans I scored in a thrift shop two years ago for $20 because I refuse to spend more than $20 on a pair of jeans.  Sometimes it can be frustrating because you find something you love in the wrong size and they don’t have the correct size, but sometimes it’s awesome and you find exactly what you’re looking for. There are so many brands all in one place, you don’t have to wait and shop the sales and you won’t find something you absolutely love, look at the price tag and have to hang it back up.

Welcome to the Seven Depths of Hell (aka Having to bring your Toddlers to the Grocery Store)

Sometimes I would rather be sitting in a car with no air conditioning during a Texas summer than be walking the aisle of the grocery store with my toddler. Don’t get me wrong, I love my child, but some tasks are tenfold more difficult to accomplish when you have a very active toddler in tow.

My child has never wanted to sit in the seats of the cart, where many children seem content to sit and observe while they are wheeled around.  We went through a phase where he would sit or stand in the main basket with the groceries, which was great.  He was in the cart and as long as I didn’t get too close to the Broccoli (which he still to this day will grab a head and start eating) or anything else he might be able to get his hands on we could cruise through the store with no problems.

Next we began the carry me phase. . .he would stay in the cart maybe through the produce aisle (if I was having a streak of luck) and then would insist that I carry all 30+ pounds of him around the store while I pushed the cart or else deal with him screaming bloody murder.  We have thankfully moved past that stage but have entered a new stage where he wants his feet on the floor and to “help” me with the groceries.

This current phase is definitely the most challenging I have encountered and it involves lots of redirection of him and breathing and patience for me.  My first experience I let him push the cart and directed him to the items we needed to purchase and I let him pick out items and put them in the cart.  This worked beautifully, through the produce aisle. . . we then got the the bakery items and he was all “Ooo’s and Aahh’s pointing at different bread items and looking at me to name them for him. . . I was breathing and attempting to redirect him to the cart to push some more when he saw cupcakes. . . why do they have to have cupcakes on display all the time???  After a battle of yes those are cupcakes, no those are not your cupcakes. No, we are not getting cupcakes, I finally managed to wrangle him back to pushing the cart.  We stopped and got lunch meat which he missed throwing into the cart and threw in front of another shopers cart. . . Lucky for me it was another Mom with a toddler.  She just laughed and smiled at me while he picked it up and threw it again, this time making it into the cart.

Now instead of pushing the cart he decides hanging off the cart handle while picking up his feet is fun, so he acts like a little monkey and we make it through dairy.  In paper products he helps me put toilet paper and paper towels underneath the cart and gets complimented by two elderly ladies about what a great helper he is.  Yes, he was a great helper, thankfully they were long gone when in the next aisle he screamed bloody murder when I wanted to put him in the cart or carry him.  He settled on letting me put his butt on the handle and half holding him we wheeled to the front.  We made it to the checkout line, my saving grace, as his little hands can stay busy putting the items on the belt, and as long as he isn’t too close to the checkout computer screen (because he turns them off) and gets a sticker, we are home free.

As I check out I can think of at least three items I forgot.  I don’t care.  I can work around them, I am not going back to get them. . .