Being a stay at home mom and a wife of a teacher/coach we live on a very small budget. It has really caused me to become creative in the way that we live. As silly as it sounds I think that I thrive the most when we have the least amount of money because I love a good challenge in trying to make everything work!
I also buy her outfits straight from Gymboree. I never pay full price. Get on Gymboree's e-mail list and they will send you some great coupons! I recently placed an order and I was able to use the coupon on clearanced prices. Also, when shopping Gymboree watch for when you can earn Gymbucks. For every $50 you spend you get $25 to be used later on. BIG BIG savings!!
The reason that I buy name brand on Ebay and on sale from stores is because the majority of the time I can sell it right back on Ebay and make back what I paid for the item. And I would say the majority of the time I make over what I bought the items for. The key is to buy complete outfits. I have found that seperate shirts and seperate pants hardly sell. I have also found that if I sell outfits that have matching bows I usually make quite a bit more than what I bought the outfit for.
It does take some time and effort but it is SO worth it! After each season I will pack up her outfits that I can sell on Ebay and store them for a year until the next season. Write down what you paid for each outfit after you buy it so that you can keep track of how much you have spent and are spending.
The fun part is when the seasons change. I bring down my gigantic bin of clothes for selling down from the attic. It usually takes me a couple of days to list everything on Ebay. Oh, quick tip... I have found the best time to have your auctions ending is between 7 to 10 pm. I figure it's usually when mom's are sitting down at the end of their day. That's when I do my online shopping!
So, whatever money I make from all of my E-bay sales (from the outfits from the previous year) is the money that I use to buy her new outfits for that season. Make sense?
Also, I don't do this for all of Emma's clothing. I do this for her church clothes and nicer (if we go somewhere) outfits. For all of her play clothes I just buy cheap little oufits from Target or Walmart that she can get dirty. Then after the end of that season I usually first bring them to the Second Hand store in town to see if they'll give me any money for them and if not then they will donate them to a local charity for me.
I realize alot of people save their clothes for hand-me downs. And that is awesome too! It just doesn't work for us right now with a boy and a girl. Plus I don't know when we'll be having more and by the time another one comes around I'm sure my taste of what I like for them to wear will change.
And also, I don't typically do this as much for Colt. I have found that little boy things don't sell as well on Ebay. Probably because their clothes are dirtier and stinkier :)
So... that's how I shop for Emma's clothes :)
If you have any questions let me know! I'd be more than happy to answer them!
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My little bookworm