We found out a few weeks ago that we are having a girl and were thrilled. After seeing how fast my niece and friend’s children grew out of their clothes, I was determined to try and get as much as I could for baby from second-hand outlets.
I’ve loved buying gently used clothing since I was a kid. As an adult, I’ve become much more aware of how buying from thrift and consignment stores can save money and the environment. If you do some digging, you can find great resources in your area that enable parents to buy gently used items while benefitting local charities, the earth, and your wallet.
- Garage Sales – Gsalr.com can help you plan out your route for all the sales you want to hit in one day. They aggregate data from Craigslist.com, so you can filter by location and description (ex. baby, toddler, Asbury Park, NJ)
- Thrift Stores – In addition to the super reasonably priced personally donated goods that are for sale at Goodwill, you can also find overstock from Target that they donate. I picked up brand newborn outfits from Carters with the original $10 tags for $2.50 each (Every week 2 different color tags are 50% off at Goodwill.) They have a large baby section with clothing and accessories for your little one.
- Be sure to check out The Thrift Shopper website to locate the thrift stores in your area. Their listings also have customer ratings so you can see if a store is worth the trip.
- Consignment Stores – My favorite local store Squan Dry Goods in Manasquan, NJ has an entire store section dedicated to baby. You can find designer clothing for the little ones (think Lilly Pulitzer, Juicy Couture, etc.) for just dollars! To find a consignment store nearest you, ask around to other moms and do some old fashioned Google searching.
- Charity/Community Sales – This past weekend I went to a local Just 4 Kids Consignment. Local moms sold their clothing for $1 each and proceeds benefit a local charity. We picked up over 10 outfits, washcloths, sleepers, a baby carrier, and carseat winter cover for less than $20 (see pic below)! Check the garage sale section of your local Craigslist or local newspaper (print or online) for similar sales. They are great because they have multiple vendors, so you can find so many things under one roof!
- Large-Scale Kids Consignment Sales – back in March, I hit up the Jersey Shore Kids Consignment Sale. I didn’t really know what I needed then, but I picked up a bunch of pregnancy journals and books as well as much needed summer maternity items. I got a fabulous polkadot 50’s inspired dress from Motherhood Maternity for only $4! My whole bill was under $20 for 5 outfits and a handful of books! I also found another local organization called the Jersey Kids Consignment Sale. Unfortunately, I found out about this one too late, but will definitely hit up their fall sale!
- To find similar sales in your area, ask around or do a google search for – kids consignment sales + your state. That’s how I found the two local ones near us, and I can’t wait to hit them for years to come.
According to the USDA (http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/calculatorintro.htm), the 2010 national average cost of clothing a child from birth to 1 was $1,288. By cutting the cost dramatically by shopping gently used outlets, you could save at least $1000 a year on clothing your child!
I think bartering is a great way to save money. I have 3 kids and I bartered for most of their clothing. You can get great stuff at barterquest.com
Hi Mel – What a great idea! I haven’t heard of that site before! I’ll definitely look into it and would love to barter in the future. Thanks so much for sharing your tip!