I’ve dared to dream of a life with seasons.
I say “dare” because, despite the humidity, many people would give anything to live in my home state of Florida. No snow, endless beaches, and green all year round. There is no denying that Florida lives by its own set of seasonal rules. Under 60 degrees means pulling out the boots and faux fur coats. Flip flops on any given December day and pool days well into January. It’s a warm blooded person’s dream.
But being a Florida girl has always made me yearn for different scenery with every passing season. Living in Denver has absolutely given me that. It’s an entirely new ball game.
Though I am loving it, the cost of raising growing humans in an ever changing climate has been way more expensive than I ever imaged.
Now, have I always wanted the hottest new fall boots for myself every year? Yes, absolutely. But new ankle boots once a year has got nothing on these tiny people. It takes not just money but being strategic about how and when you buy. Catching sales and not buying too far ahead are some of the things I’ve learned since we moved here two years ago. I try to buy at least one size up for the season we are currently in, in hopes that my oldest will be able to wear it the following year, too. Buying for the entire winter season has cost me up to $300, including coats, boots, hats, and gloves. Of course, summer and spring are a bit less expensive due to the lack of layers.
“They grow so fast!”
There has never been a truer statement. Bitter sweet, because they’ll never be that small again, and I’m also crying in their closet, knowing we have an entire wardrobe to purchase. Living in Florida meant wearing the same thing year round and throwing a jacket on if it got “cold.”
Buying an entirely new wardrobe twice a year, umm what?
I have been buying my oldest daughter clothes for spring/summer and then for fall/winter and it’s been working out pretty well. And let me be clear, I want my daughters to be cute and fashionable, but I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for something they’ll wear for maybe two seasons. I am a HUGE sucker for all things Baby Gap and Old Navy and, because these places can get very pricey, I am a part of their rewards programs. Yes, the number of emails I receive can be incredibly aggravating, but I’ll never shop there without the deals. They have sales almost all the time and shopping online is so easy, especially when they offer free shipping when you spend over a certain amount. It certainly beats dealing with the mall crowds with my two little ones.
Aside from some of the strategies I mentioned above, I also teamed up with my fellow contributors to bring you more ideas on ways to save:
- Buying a size up for the current season seems like the way to go to try and stretch your purchase at least two years. This is especially helpful if you have other children to pass the clothes down to; although, with the rapid growth that happens in the first year, my youngest daughter may not fit the clothes for that season her sister was in… Always a gamble.
- Buying gender neutral is also a great idea if you have both genders or are planning to have more children down the line.
- Mountain towns are the place to get great, used winter gear.
- Wait to buy winter clothing until after Christmas when the sales are endless.
- Join Facebook pages/groups that offer resales on high end brands.
- ThredUp is a popular online store for secondhand clothing.
- I’ve also heard lots of mamas say great things about consignment stores, like “Once Upon A Child.”
- Shopping at outlet stores that are less crowded could be a great way to catch sales that you wouldn’t see at other more popular locations.
- And remember “sharing is caring!” Having mom friends with children that can no longer fit their clothes could be a great way to score clothing for free.
Word to the friends and family who shop for kids that live with true seasons, make sure not to buy too far ahead. Not only may it not correlate to that season and size they wear, but also because if they’re anything like my kids, they won’t actually fit in the size that is “right” for their age. Case in point, my oldest is JUST now fitting into 2T at age 3. Always ask the parents for their children’s sizes and what season they need clothes for.