Isn’t it always a little bit sad when your child grows into the next clothing size? Sure, knowing that she’ll never be that small again brings out sentimental mommy feelings, but what really hurts me is:
1) remembering how much I paid for an outfit versus the short period my child wore it; and
2) knowing I have to now spend more money for clothes in the next size up.
I love hitting sales and using coupons as much as the next mom, but now I’ve really found a way to save money on kids’ clothing: swapping! I’m talking about a clothing exchange site called ThredUP. There are others, but this is the one I’m recommending because I’ve personally used it.
How Does It Work?
Everything on ThredUP is by-the-box. That box is the medium size flat-rate shipping box from the US Postal Service. The boxes are completely free, and ThredUP automatically has some sent to your house when you sign up. You can also get them free at the post office.
Picking a box is so much fun! It’s like shopping. You can browse all the boxes according to gender, size, brand name or anything you feel like searching. Each listing includes a description of its contents, including types of clothing (onesies, pants, dresses, etc.) and brands.
You’re simply asked to keep your “balance” even. After you pick a box, make sure you list one, so another mom can benefit from the clothes your kids have outgrown. I was able to get clothes for my new twins by swapping clothes that no longer fit my older child. You aren’t limited to just clothes; you can stuff the box with books, toys, maternity, Halloween costumes…you get the idea.
What Does It Cost?
OK, ThredUP is not completely free. However, in my experience, the quality of what I’ve received has been well worth the small amount you have to pay. Plus, I haven’t found any online freecycling options that work for me, since I live in a very rural area (one stoplight in my entire county, which isn’t in my town).
Each “pick” costs $5.00, plus the cost of shipping. You only pay shipping to receive a box – never to send one. I have three kids aged three and under who are growing like weeds, and clothes swapping has saved me a tremendous amount of money. It’s fun, too!
*BONUS: If you sign up through my ThredUP referral link, you’ll get a free $5.00 for your first pick!
Swapping is economical, easy and green. It’s just another way for us mamas to help each other out. Happy swapping!
Spending time with your spouse is important for sustaining a healthy relationship. I really like my husband. He’s my best friend, but it’s getting tougher to find time alone because of our little ones, our growing businesses and our work at home jobs. The best solution we’ve found is to schedule dates at home.
Not only is it free, but it’s convenient. I know that most people would suggest that we ought to pay for babysitting and get away on a “real date.” But that’s just not our style. We like being close to the kids if they need us for anything, and we’re hermits. Our best date is cuddling up in bed and streaming a movie on the laptop, munching on snacks. We tend to schedule our dates overnight, when the kids are sleeping and once a week. If my infant wakes up to nurse, we pause the movie, get her back to sleep and voila, we keep going.
You might find yourself in similar circumstances, where going out for a date night is not an option or a preference right now. Rather than abandon the idea altogether, try these at home dating ideas:
- Plan a backyard picnic
- Set up a table for two in your bedroom and prepare a special meal
- Play a game together
- Enjoy a dessert date instead of a full meal
- Listen to music and delight in conversation in bed or on the floor
If you don’t schedule these dates, you’re less likely to keep up with them on a regular basis. Try to come up with a night once a week that you set aside for just you and your husband.
Saving money is a side benefit to dating at home. You eliminate fuel, tickets, eating out, babysitting and other costs associated with having a date outside the home. It might be just what you need when you’re trying to pinch pennies and keep the fire lit in your marriage.