My favorite biannual sale came around this weekend! Described here in my intro to kids’ consignment sales, the grab bag clearance sale is a great opportunity to buy clothes at rock bottom prices. They structured the sale differently this year, turning a one-day zoo into a three-day slightly-less-mad madhouse. Friday was 70% off clearance, Saturday was 80% off, and Sunday was the desirable 90% off day! I knew there was a chance it’d be pretty picked over by Sunday, but I get why they did it. In previous years you could have people shopping during the 80% off window and lingering just long enough with their full bags to check out once the 90% off window began. Not really in the spirit of things. So anyway, I wanted to get crazy deals, so I went with my best friend on Sunday.
We headed for winter coats first, where I secretly hoped to relive my 2017 three-coat victory. It didn’t take long to realize that the selection was, indeed, picked over. We each still found mid-weight coats in the next size up for our girls, but not the super warm winter coats we hoped to buy for next year.
We moved on/split up to poke around shoes (not much on clearance, always disorganized and hard to rummage through), winter boots (none in my daughter’s next size), and clothes. They had lots of snow bibs/pants but none were on clearance. Everything non-clearance was 20% off so they were still great deals, but I’m gonna gamble and try to get snow gear later in the season, when they might put those items on sale! There didn’t seem to be many toys on clearance, or if there were, you’d never know without going through the 10,000 clear Rubbermaid bins making up the toy wall. Toys were also not included in the non-clearance 20% off deal, and when I got home and realized this, I found myself oddly annoyed at not getting that extra $2.70 off my bill. Frugality is a helluva drug.
My full haul is below, and I had fun forcing my daughter and husband to sit patiently and “ohhh” on cue as I went through everything. I think the Batman shirt was their joint favorite! Next year I might commit to going on 80% off day to check out the coats, and then come back on 90% off day to scrounge up what’s left. But maybe the gas for the second trip would cancel out the extra 10% and I should just do all my shopping in one day. Again I say, frugality is a helluva drug.
New shopping tip for parents of toddlers and younger: this applies more to girls, but can work for both sexes. Don’t limit yourself to shopping in just the girls or boys section. I don’t dress my daughter in traditionally “girly” clothes, so I always check the boys section for fun shirts (e.g. it’s where I usually find all of her Star Wars and Eagles gear). In the summer I also check out the boys’ stuff for rash guards and shorts with more sun protection than skimpy girls’ bathing suits. If you have a boy, I get that societal norms mean you may not feel as comfortable buying a pink Frozen shirt for your son as I do buying a blue dinosaur shirt for my daughter. But it still might be worth your time to swing through girls’ clearance to look through pants. There are often gender neutral loose sweatpants that would work for any kid.
Top row: Columbia fleece, Children’s Place denim jacket, Paw Patrol hoodie (didn’t notice it said Wildwood on the sleeve til I got home ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
Bottom row: Old Navy peacoat, Children’s Place fleece (a few sizes up)
Prices: each between $0.85 and $1 (Paw Patrol was under $0.50)
Left side: two pairs of black sweats that look like one big blob
Top row: Cat and Jack green bugs, Cherokee (both the green stripe with front pouch and pink stripe), Harper Canyon navy stripe, Children’s Place red (ready for Valentine’s Day!), Old Navy Batman (new with tags!), and Nike sneaks
Bottom row: graphic tees from H&M, Carters and Old Navy
Prices: $0.35 to 0.45 each for the shirts, $0.25 for each pair of pants, and $5 for the sneakers
(Is it bothering anyone else that I have the Batman shirt over the shirts on the bottom row? Just me?)
Total cost: $14.59 for 10 long sleeve tees, 2 sweats, 5 jackets, and a pair of shoes!
I also bought three games, not on sale as I mentioned, which cost $13.50 total. My grand total was therefore $28.09, and the receipt noted $77.80 in savings. But that’s just off of their normal consignment prices. If I had bought all of these things new, even conservative estimates would put the total over a couple hundred bucks! I hope this post is enough to convince you that second hand clothing for your kids is the way to go: find the sales near you!