Saving Money ~ Buy Kids Clothing And Toys At Thrift Stores

Such cute and very gently used outfits I found at a thrift store!

Outfits I had found for the boys for Easter when they were two years old. I loved the little shorts look on little guys, and I love the way we had to "bribe" them with raisins to get them to sit STILL for the picture!
Outfits I had found for the boys for Easter when they were two years old. I loved the little shorts look on little guys, and I love the way we had to "bribe" them with raisins to get them to sit STILL for the picture!
TWO separate outfits I had found for Christmas when our boys were just three years old, so similar except for the different colored bow ties, I couldn't believe I lucked into finding them at the thrift store!
TWO separate outfits I had found for Christmas when our boys were just three years old, so similar except for the different colored bow ties, I couldn't believe I lucked into finding them at the thrift store!
This was at age 7, this was about the time I stopped shopping in thrift stores for them because they stayed in sizes longer and got more wear out of clothing, so we bought mostly new items for them. Thrift stores were still good for suits though!
This was at age 7, this was about the time I stopped shopping in thrift stores for them because they stayed in sizes longer and got more wear out of clothing, so we bought mostly new items for them. Thrift stores were still good for suits though!

There Were Times When I Was Dressing Our Boys For FREE!

We had no idea when I was expecting "a baby," that we were having twins. Back in those days, they only did one sonogram, and it was done at the 20 week point of a pregnancy. The ultrasound technician did it, looked at the screen, kept running that wand over my belly, and said "I'll be right back." I didn't worry...not right away. Then she came back with a doctor and said "one head, two heads... any history of TWINS in your family?" I about passed out, and my husband just had a stunned GRIN on his face that stayed there for a while!

I replied "no, not that I know of" and she told me "There is now!" So, with those words, we went home in stunned disbelief. My husband's parents had very generously offered to buy "a crib" for "the baby." So, we called them and asked how they might feel about buying TWO cribs? We were kidding of course, we would have bought the second one... but they were over the moon excited and beyond thrilled! And they DID buy two cribs!

And so began the adventure of "two of everything but ME!" This is a common lament of mother's of twins, heard even these days. It pretty much doubles all of your expenses from the very beginning, since when one child is born at a time, the old clothes and toys that they used can be handed down and used again by the second child and so forth.

That's not the case with twins. Everything is used by just one child (I'm mostly referring to clothing here) Toys were a different matter... everything was clubbed over brother's head... I mean SHARED by both of them! (On a good day!) On a bad day, it was tug of war and may the best li'l man win! (winking!)

But seriously, the expense is beyond what you would ever expect with one baby at a time. When our boys were very small, we simply bought two of everything, or received two of each item or outfit from fantastic friends and relatives. Cute little outfits, very similar, but in different colors (I had a tendency to put one boy in blue a lot, and the other in red).

We had to have two car seats, just to bring them home from the hospital, then two little bouncy chairs, two of pretty much everything. For a short time, we put them both in one crib, just because they were both so tiny. When they were alone in one crib, it looked as if the crib might swallow them up!

I honestly think that a lot of people get a big KICK out of shopping for clothing for twins, because we received the CUTEST outfits for them when they were babies, just precious! Almost matching most of the time, and if not matching, then very similar. I always made a point of putting the boys in every single outfit, taking pictures of them wearing them, so I could share pictures with who ever had sent the outfits. This was back in the days before Facebook! It was a lot of work to do that, but I'm so glad that I did. The people who gave the outfits as gifts really appreciated the gesture.

As the boys grew, we found we were increasingly "on our own" when it came to providing them with clothing and toys to play with. And while at Christmas time they got new things, during other times of the year, we found that we saved BUNDLES of money just by shopping at the local thrift shop for clothing and toys for them!

If one of your New Years resolutions is to save money this year and to live in a more thrifty way, seriously give thrift shops a chance! When it comes to very gently used children's clothing and even toys, you can find some amazing bargains there!

We lived on a military base at the time, so the clothing and toys were used mostly by military kids. A surprising quantity of things were so gently used, they almost looked brand new! When shopping for clothing, make sure to look it over carefully, to be sure there are no visible rips or tears, buttons missing, things of that nature. With jeans, always check to be sure the zipper works.

If there are small, barely visible rips, (as in an underarm rip or on a seam) those can be easily and invisibly repaired so the outfit will look brand new again with a minimum of effort. Baby clothes you have to be careful with, as some of the things can have formula stains on them. No matter what I would try, I usually wasn't able to get those out. But, if the clothing is tear and stain free, go for it!

Buying clothing for kids used from a thrift store is a great way to save money! In our case, I'd buy things that looked practically brand new to begin with, then once our boys used them, it was as if they were only used by one child, (because our boys both seemed to wear the same sizes even as they grew, pretty much throughout their childhood).

When buying two of everything, thrift shop bargains saved us quite a bit. Then, I was able to turn around and sell the clothing items again in the thrift shop once the boys had outgrown them! A lot of times, I was able to earn back what we had paid for the outfit, especially when it came to very dressy clothing for Christmas and other holidays, so in effect I was dressing our boys for "free."

When you buy clothing from a thrift store, if your children are rough on their clothes (play clothes) the way ours were, if they rip something or wear holes in knees, you tend to not be nearly as concerned. If you only paid $2 for a pair of jeans, instead of $15 or $20, a rip is no big deal.

Every year, I always loved dressing the boys up in special outfits for Christmas and Easter, and could always count on the thrift shop to find wonderful bargains in very gently used little three piece suits. For Easter, I was even able to find little suits that had shorts with them, making the boys look just adorable, for a fraction of what those outfits would have cost if I'd paid full retail!

Once our boys got older, I would bring them shopping at the thrift shop with me and let them pick out their own clothing, but the heck with clothes, WE WANT TO LOOK AT TOYS, MOM! (In stereo!) So, off to the toy department, where Mom could be perceived as the next best thing to Santa, for under $10! What a deal!! The boys had trouble pronouncing the word "thrift" (a tough word even for adults to say!) So, they called it the "Froo" shop! Off to the "Froo" shop it was, to buy toys!

We found the best deals there, in pretty gently used kids toys. Stuffed animals were found for huge bargains. Even the latest and greatest trendy toys that some child out there had simply grown tired of before they wore the toy out would be sent to the thrift shop when the parents decided that toy had to go! It was a huge gain for us, since we pretty much needed twice the toys as parents of a single child. The boys loved shopping there and picking out their own stuff! And even as they grew up, they knew what bargains could be found there.

Now you have to be careful shopping in some stores, such as Goodwill. Look over items carefully to be sure they work properly, and that they are not broken or missing anything. Often times, after Christmas is a good time to find kids toy bargains, because of the "haul" that kids have just gotten from Santa, parents decide it's time to be "out with the old." Funny how post Christmas brings out the organizational guru in many parents and they decide it's time to clean things out!

So, happy bargain hunting, (just carefully inspect everything before buying), and enjoy the tremendous savings to be found at thrift stores. It will make you feel good to have gotten such outstanding bargains, and your kids can have things that you never would have dreamed of buying for them at "new" prices.

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Comments 17 comments

alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

You can add adult clothes, furniture and accessories to the list of thrift store finds. Voting this Up and Useful.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Absolutely, alocsin! :) I've even found nice dishes there recently, you never know what you'll find! ;) Thanks for stopping by!


sabrani44 profile image

sabrani44 4 years ago

Great hub, thanks for posting! Its amazing all the great things you can find at thrift stores.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thanks, Sabrani44! Glad you liked it, thanks for your comment! :)


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN

I love thrift stores. It is a great way to get "new for you" stuff at fantastic prices. I really enjoyed your hub.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thank you ITCoach and Esmeowl12! I appreciate your comments, and thanks so much for the up votes as well! :) Glad you liked the hub!


CharmainB 4 years ago

I loved your Hub! I am the mother of six, all ages. We always purchase clothing for the little ones there. I even look for purses, and novelty baking pans there. I have purchased some outfits for our teenager's play costumes, and homecoming evening wear! You are right to emphasise the "checking over" everything!


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thanks so much CharmainB for leaving such a great comment, so glad you like the hub! And you have some GREAT ideas looking for play costumes and evening wear! Those were things I hadn't even thought of! Thank you! :)


pmccray profile image

pmccray 4 years ago from Utah

I absolutely love thrift store shopping. I bought my sons play and school clothes there. I found a beautiful red jersey print dress with matching top at a thrift shop years ago. I wore the dress to death, I could pack it and it never wrinkled all for $.75 best deal ever!!!

Excellent hub, interesting subject matter. Voted up, marked useful and interesting.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thank you, pmccray! Wow, you DID get a great deal on that dress! :) And there sure are nice kids clothes, too. Thrift shops do have some amazing finds! So glad you like the hub, thanks for your thoughtful comment! :)


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

Great hub KathyH. I loved having thrift stores to buy from when raising my five children even sewing the majority of their wardrobes. I also shop garage sales.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Wow, mljdgulley354, you probably saved a bundle with five children!! There are such great finds both in thrift stores and garage sales! Thanks for your thoughtful comment! :)


mljdgulley354 profile image

mljdgulley354 4 years ago

My reasoning was more than being frugal but finding ways to make ends meet. Back in that day it was hard enough to feed five kids let alone clothe them. Hmm not so different today I bet for young families


holdmycoffee profile image

holdmycoffee 4 years ago

You have beautiful children. I have to agree with you, thrift stores and garage sales is the only way we could afford to dress our kids (and often ourselves). Even if we had more money, I think I still would shop the same way. It just does not make sense to spend more to get pretty much the same thing "new".


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thanks, holdmycoffee! : ) They are all grown up now, but I still remember their little boy days like they were yesterday! :)

I think if I had extra money I would still shop the same way as well... it just makes sense! :) Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment!


Earthy Mother profile image

Earthy Mother 4 years ago from South East England

I always wanted to have twins...I've always thought there is something extra special about them! Love the photos and love your thriftyness...it's something that I am having to do at the moment whilst not working and I do take a certain pride in saving money...great tips!


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thanks for your comment, Earthy Mother! It is a great feeling to save money, and knowing that you're getting something useful in return is another wonderful benefit! :) Thanks so much for visiting!

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