Remember before you had kids (difficult, I know) and you said silly things like “I will only dress my children in clothes from Gap Kids”, or when you had only one child and said “No thanks” to hand-me-downs because you liked buying new clothes for your precious little angel? Just me? Oh, how I like to laugh at that young, clueless version of myself.
Fast forward five years and three kids, and that foolishness and whimsy have been replaced by pragmatism and reality. And my reality is that spending a lot of money on kids clothing is just dumb. Thankfully this realization is supported by the fact that I don’t have a lot of money, but I like to think that even if I won the lottery this belief would be unwavering, and here’s why. Kids grow at an alarming rate. Kids are pretty gross. Kids don’t care.
Let me clarify just a little. First, I do want my children to be clothed appropriately for the weather, the occasion, and the age. But since they are almost 5 years old, 2 years old, and 6 months old, the occasion is almost always play time, and we dress accordingly. But, my children don’t know how much I paid or where I shopped. I do try and keep in mind their preferences and their budding styles. For instance, my daughter has declared she will henceforth only wear dresses and leggings, and my toddler son is in constant motion, so athletic wear seems to the best bet.
That being said, I do love shopping for my kids, so consignment sales such as Just Between Friends of North Indy are very compatible with my children’s clothing philosophy.
This is my second year shopping the sale. For tips from my first year visit last year’s blog:
Just Between Friends is celebrating its 10th year, and Event Coordinator Dawn Pfannenstiel said they welcomed over 300 consignors at this sale alone.
Dawn and I posing with my bag of clothing!
Basically, my goal this year was to spend about $100 and find some essential items for each kid. My list looked something like this:
Here is how I fared:
Kid #1 = $22, 4 rompers, 4 pajamas
Kid #2 = $31.50, 4 pajamas, 1 bathing suit, 2 shorts, and 1 leather vest (yes, you read that correctly, I couldn’t resist!)
Kid #3 = $51, 4 pajamas, 9 dresses
An average of $3.60 spent per item
Because what two-year-old boy doesn’t need a leather motorcycle vest?
Here are my tips for maximizing your consignment experience:
-Shop with a friend. It’s always nice to have another set of eyes. Bonus-bring a thrifty friend. My girlfriend Katie is an expert at knowing how the prices at the sale compared to the Target clearance aisle, and it was lots of fun getting her opinions.
Katie is the best kind of shopping buddy. Equal parts enabler and voice of reason.
-Stick to your list. As the queen of impulse purchases, this is difficult for me, but it would be very easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the “deal” of it all.
-Review your purchases. Take advantage of the sorting table. You will find many women wondering out loud “I love it, but is it really worth two whole dollars?”
-Bask in the glory of your frugality. 29 items for a walkout price of under $120. Not bad, Megan, not bad.
The sale is open to the public Wednesday April 19 through Saturday April 22. Hours are 9am-7pm Wednesday through Friday. Selected items are 25% off on Friday. Saturday hours are 9am-3pm, with selected items 50% off, and 5pm-9pm with selected items 75% off. The sale features infant, children, juniors, and adult clothing and shoes, as well as maternity wear, baby gear, toys, books, and much more. The event is held at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds at 2003 Pleasant Street in Noblesville.