Buying clothes for kids can get soooo expensive! Especially when you have more than one kid. They grow out of them so fast and you have to buy them a whole new wardrobe like every 3-6 months. It’s crazy. But it’s just one of those things in life that you can’t avoid. So I have discovered how to save money when buying clothes so often for my girls.
Consignment sales! Now, hear me out. A lot of people might turn their nose up when they hear “consignment sale” because it means you’re buying used stuff! But you can get some amazing clothing, among tons of other things, for amazing prices at these consignment sales.
I first found out about them from a fellow mom of twins. When she found out that I was having twins she would always give me advice and tips and she told me about consignment sales! There are some that are geared toward moms of multiples (meaning you have twins or triplets, etc.) but there are tons that are not as well! You can find different sales by searching on consignmentmommies.com or kidsconsignmentsales.com. My favorite sale so far has been the Just Between Friends (JBF) Consignment Sales. They have them all over the country! I went to them in Colorado and then made sure to find the closest one to me when we moved here to Maryland. So if you’re curious, look up where the closest one to you is. Just go to jbfsale.com and search with your zip code! (By the way, I’m not affiliated with JBF nor do they know I’m even writing this post, I just really like their sale!)
I could go on and on telling you about all of the crazy deals I have gotten by shopping at these sales but I’ll keep it to just this last sale I went to a few weeks ago. My budget was $100 for clothing for both girls. At most retail stores, $100 isn’t going to get you much more than maybe 2 outfits for each girl. But I came away with all of this!
- 2 onesies (for lazy days at home)
- 3 summer rompers
- 2 sun dresses
- 2 tank tops
- 2 t-shirts (not pictured)
- 2 tanks with shorts (new with tags on)
- 2 dressier tops (new with tags on)
- 2 skirts (new with tags on)
- 2 swimsuits (matching I might add!)
- 4 sets of like new pajamas (not pictured)
I would say that is a pretty good set of summer clothes for just $100! 23 items for $100 means each piece was less than $5! And some of it was brand new! You really can’t beat that! I also picked up a few little toys and some board books for the girls and that was another $20.
I decided to sell some of the clothing that my girls had grown out of at the consignment sale as well, so I also made about $40!
It can be harder to find things when you are looking for two of the same things for twins but I usually have pretty good luck at least finding matching things. If I wasn’t trying to match them, it would’ve been a heck of a lot harder to stay within that $100 budget because there were a lot of things I ended up putting back.
They carry everything from maternity to newborn through like early teen! And if you’re in the market for strollers or pack n plays or high chairs, etc., this is a great place to find those things as well! And the toys! Oh the toys! I let my girls get out of the stroller and play on all the riding toys like rocking horses and the push toys while I sorted through my pile of clothes and they were in heaven!
Anyways, I get so excited about these sales and the good deals I find. I wanted to share some tips and things I’ve learned over the past 3 years shopping these huge consignment sales in case I’ve sparked an interest and you decide to try one out!
8 Tips for Consignment Sale Shopping
- Go to the earliest sale you can get into. They have different shopping times depending on your experience or situation. For example, if you volunteer to work at the sale then you get to shop before anyone else. If you are a first time parent then there is an early shopping time set up for you. If you are selling items in the sale then there is a separate shopping time for you as well. Then, after all the presales have happened, it’s open to the public. The first time I went was before the girls were born so I was able to get into the first time parent sale and still got into that same presale the first year after they were born! This year I was able to get into a consignor pre-sale. You can also purchase pre-sale tickets if you are really really wanting to get in before the public but I never felt like it was worth it to pay to get in early. There is always great stuff even if you do just shop during the general public times. If you are going on a regular sale day then I would say go as early as you can, before lunch. There will be less people there and it won’t be too crazy. They also do 50% off days but they are usually on Sunday so that’s out for me.
- Set a budget for yourself. It’s so easy to go overboard at these things because you feel like you are getting a steal. But if you’re not limiting yourself then you may actually end up spending more than you would if you were buying full price retail. This happened to us last fall. There were so many dresses and outfits that we found doubles of, and a lot of them were new with tags on them, so we couldn’t just pass it up! Our total came to over $300 and we just kind of stood there staring at each other with big eyes, not quite sure what to do. We got it all because we had already been there forever and the girls were over it and we just needed to leave. Some of those things we got at that sale I never even put the girls in. So, that was definitely a waste! I hate thinking about it. So I felt really good about having my $100 budget this time and I think I still came away with some great things!
- Pull out everything you think you like the first time. It’s easier to just grab everything that you see that you might like off the racks and put it in your bag. After you’ve gone through the whole section you’re looking in then you can find a spot out of the way and pull everything out of your bag and sort through it. I always make a “yes, I want it” pile, a “maybe” pile, and a “I guess I could live without it pile”. If my “yes, I want it” pile is still over my budget then my “maybe” pile automatically goes in the “I could live with out it pile” and I sort through the “Yes” pile again until I get it down to my budget.
- Make a list ahead of time of specific things you are looking for. I knew this time that I wanted to specifically find swimsuits and shorts or casual summer outfits for the girls. I still grabbed things that weren’t on my list but then when I sorted through everything it was easier to decide what to keep and put back because I knew what I really needed.
- If possible, shop without your kids. These sales are usually in big convention centers or sports centers and can seriously get crazy with the amount of people that come. And, most kids don’t like to stay by your side while you’re sifting through insane amounts of clothes. I had my girls strapped in the stroller and was armed with plenty of snacks but even that wasn’t good enough. 30 minutes in and they were done with the stroller. I wasn’t able to find a baby sitter otherwise I would’ve left them at home and I would’ve been able to shop faster.
- Think outside the box. Not only can you find lots of clothing for your kids for the next season but think about other events like Christmas and Birthdays, etc. Everything we got for our girls’ first birthday was from a consignment sale I went to several months before. You can find a lot of great toys and games that are in perfect condition for a lot less than you can get it at the store. And a lot of times they will have new toys and games from name brands like Melissa & Doug at discounted prices.
- Plan on spending a good chunk of time there. It takes longer than you think to sort through all the clothing, shoes, toys and any other items you’re shopping for. Then you have to take time to go through everything you’ve grabbed and decide what you are going to keep and what you’re going to put back. Once you’ve got it all figured out, there will most likely be a long line to stand in to check out. But, like I said before, the earlier you go, the less people there are likely to be. That may not be true for all sales though. Just plan to spend some time there. J
- Shop Strategically. If you are looking for big-ticket items like car seats, strollers, cribs, etc., go straight to that section first. Those are the things that will go the fastest. If you find what you’re looking for you can take it to the holding section where they will hold it for you while you continue to shop! Then move on to the rest of your list.
I hope you try out a consignment sale in your area! Let me know how it goes when you do and what kinds of deals you came away with!