One of the main ways we get clothes is through hand-me-downs. We don't go around asking for them but still they come and we are thankful. The picture below is an example of the clothes that were given to us last week. With hand-me-downs we often cannot use everything we are given but we try to graciously receive whatever is given to us, then we go through it and find the clothes we can use now, wash them up (It might be kind of silly but I always like to rewash any clothes we get) and put them in the drawers. I also look carefully through the too big clothes and try to decide if it is something that would be worn in a year or so. These also I wash up and then I put them in a box and label them with the approx. sizes and whether it is for boy or girl and then put them in the kids closet. In this way when a child grows out of his clothes we have quick and easy access to a bunch of "new" clothes. It is much quicker than going on a shopping trip.
When going through the clothes I also look for possibilities for remaking of clothes. For instance this week I was given a skirt that I am not interested in for myself but it had fabric that Mara will really like. I plan on making it into a skirt for her. I have also made big men's pants into pants for the boys, big dresses into little dresses, exercise pants into swimsuits, etc.
Also while going through the clothes I will take out any that have holes or stains, that I don't think anybody will want to wear (I is common to get this stuff in the hand-me-downs as well, but don't complain, just do something with it.) These I turn into rags, quilts or rugs OR (Gasp!!) I simply throw it away.
With the stuff that is left I try to think of somebody else who might be able to use it. I then pass it on to them. I also do this when we have simply been given way more than we can use (I am really trying to steer clear of overflowing drawers). If I can't think of anybody in the right size I will save it for a garage sale or donate them.
If you aren't given hand-me-downs but would like some, these are a few ideas that I have: Volunteer to help with a group garage sale. When it is over and there is usually a lot of clothes left offer to help get rid of them. I have also noticed clothes being offered on Freecycle. Also if you hear of somebody that is has gone through their closets and has clothes that they are wanting to don't be shy, offer to take it off their hands.
Other ways we get clothes cheaply is to: Sew, shop at 2nd hand stores, go garage saleing, and shop sales. Ken's clothes are mostly bought new on sale and we buy a few other things that way as well. I go to garage sales and 2nd hand store rarely but I am amazed how God blesses the times I do go and I have been able to find things that we need for very good prices. Sewing I use mainly for dress clothes and aprons.
What is your favorite way to clothe your family without breaking the budget?