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Summer Clothes On a Shoestring

Posted by idawrites on April 16, 2009 in Children, Frugal Tips, Shopping |

With the school year coming to a close, and the weather warming up, it’s time to start thinking about summer clothes. Having 3 daughters at home full time (2 of which are teenagers) means that clothes are sort of a big deal. They want to be cute… I want to make everything last as long as possible and not spend a ton of money.

Learning from the past, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that work pretty well.

Clean their rooms:
The biggest thieves of our kids’ clothes are the Closet Monster, the Bed Monster, and the Behind the Dresser Monster. By spending a weekend in their room “helping” them clean and rearrange their rooms, I’ve managed to recover almost new socks, underwear, towels, hair bows, makeup, and Favorite Jeans that Were Gone Forever *insert wrist to forehead here*.

Alterations:
For pants with the knees ripped out or that I know the girls will grow out of by the fall, I just cut them off from just above the knee and turn them into shorts. I haven’t tried this with shirts yet, but I’m considering taking the sleeves off of shirts that otherwise fit and hemming the ends.

Swap their clothes:
The good thing about having 3 girls is that they LOVE LOVE LOVE to wear one another’s clothes. When we weed out the clothes they’re getting rid of, I have them put everything in a pile in the living room. Then, I let them all go through what their sisters discarded, and keep what they want. **This is also the time that I pull out the boxes of last year’s summer clothes to see what they can still make use of, and what they want to get rid of.

Hit the thrift stores:
(most) Girls love to shop! More is better. Snagging something fabulous for a steal is like big game hunting for girls. So, I give the girls a set amount of money and take them to the thrift store on half price day. The only thing better than shopping for clothes, is finding a really great retro outfit that nobody else has for super cheap (or so Sierra tells me).

Go discount shopping:
Although shopping in their own closets and at the thrift stores definitely cover the bulk of our clothes shopping, there are just things and times that we have to buy things new (think socks and underclothes).  For those things, we head out to Ross, Marshall’s, and Burlington Coat Factory. All three stores have really great markdowns and a huge selection. The prices are comparable to Wal-Mart or Target, but the quality is much better (in my personal experience).

What do you do when it’s time to pull out the summer wardrobe? I’d love to hear your suggestions!

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