One of my favorite ways to save money has to do with waiting. I hate waiting. On the other hand, I love saving money! While raising my children (3 girls ages 23, 20 and 13 and one son aged 8) I realized that clothing four children could get pretty expensive! This is one area where patience definitely pays off!
Years ago I read a book called The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn.
This book is worth it’s weight in gold!
In the book she describes how she had a “used-clothing filing system”. I am NOT kidding! While I admire her intense organization, I did not need something that detailed (and I definitely did not have the space for that!) so I devised a smaller system.
Basically what I did was have one tote for the girls and one for my son (just large plastic boxes with lids). In those two plastic totes went the following items:
- clothing that my older girls had outgrown that were in good condition and being saved for the younger girls
- clothing items that were hand me downs for my son that were too big for him (items from other family members and friends of the family)
- clothing items that I found and bought really, really cheap and didn’t fit anyone yet from yard sales, clearance racks, wherever!
- clothing items from other, older female family members that didn’t yet fit any of the girls
- basically anything that was in good condition and could eventually fit one of my kids went into these totes (shoes, socks, underwear, belts, shirts, bathing suits, boxers, purses, bras, ANYTHING that they could wear and might be used again)
I have been using this system for YEARS and my kids actually love it! Every year before school starts, we go through the totes to see what fits and can be pulled out and used. We also go through the totes during each season to pull items out that can be used during that time of year (like bathing suits for summer!). When a child outgrows an item and needs a replacement we go look through the totes before buying something. Recently Shelby outgrew a pair of jeans and so we went to the stash and instantly found a pair of jeans that fit her perfectly! Money, time and gas saved!