Do you ever feel like you are over abundantly blessed- to the point that you almost feel overwhelmed?
This has been us sometimes with clothes. I am incredibly grateful to God in how He abundantly provides and it is my goal to figure out ways to share the blessings we receive with others that need them too, hopefully without getting stressed and overwhelmed!
The reason we so often have over and beyond what we need is because we have several friends that pass all their hand-me-downs on to us. I am all for used clothes, I would much prefer to keep clothes being used then have them sit uselessly in somebody's closet. And I am very thankful I don't need to go out and buy new clothes for our whole family- I can't imagine how much that would cost!
As blessed as we are with hand-me-downs, clothing our family isn't quite as easy as just going through bags of clothing that people give to us. Not everything we get works nor do we get everything we need. So here is what does work for us in keeping our family clothed without spending a lot.
Be very thankful for whatever is given to us, take what we can use (either as is or when re-made) and pass on the rest.
Re-make clothes. There are so many ways this can be done from simple altering to totally cutting up one piece of clothing to make it into another item.
Patch and mend the clothes we have.
When we need something (especially things like shoes that don't so often work from hand-me-downs) I will keep my eye on clearance racks and sales.
Buy used at garage sales, thrift stores or ebay. (I just bought clothes from ebay once but that was a good savings.)
Sew, knit or crochet new clothes.
Have clothing and shoes that are for gardening and painting and things like that so that we don't get our better clothes wrecked.
Be creative in our clothing combinations. Every so often I try to go through my clothes and see if there are different things that I could wear together that I don't normally wear together. Sometimes I can come up with some "new" outfits that I really like with things that I already had. This helps to eliminate any desire that I might have had to go out and buy something new.
Keep clothes and pass them down from one child to the next. This is easier with the boys than the girls as they are much closer in age but it works at least somewhat with both of them. It is so much easier to just be able to pull out my box labeled for that age then to have to go shopping for what I need somewhere.
I watch for good sales and good coupons for stores where Ken likes to get his clothes.
We can also save money on clothes simply because I am a stay at home mom and I homeschool my children. Because of that we don't feel as much peer pressure to dress in any certain way. We dress in clothes that we like and that are clean and neat but they may not be the very latest style.
When we were examining our clothing budget we did realize that by far the majority of that money goes to clothe Ken. There are several reasons for that: 1. He doesn't get many hand me downs nor is all that open to used clothing. 2. His clothes cost more (Large men's clothes just do in my experience). 3. He needs to wear nice clothes to the office. Size 13 shoes cost quite a bit too. Ken seems to wear out shoes quickly (at least compared to me).
Since that is where the bulk of the money is going (and just for the record- that doesn't bother me at all, the rest of us are very well clothed and I am delighted that we can do that with very little money) I am trying to think of ways that I can keep Ken well clothed using a little less money. Here are some ideas I am hoping to try:
Ken usually does most of his own shopping. That is fine but I think I might try to be more aware of what he may be needing so that I can keep an eye out for deals and buy stuff for him before he buys it at a higher cost.
If I go to garage sales, etc, I will try to look for very nice (that look new still ) clothes for him. He would never buy used on his own and doesn't get all that excited about ones that I present but often they become favorites of his so I think it is worth it to get them for him if it is really his style.
When he buys his shoes (generally online) see if he can use an ebates store so that we can get a percentage back.
Those are some of my ideas. How do you keep you husband dressed economically?
Also just for fun I thought I would check out some ideas for making articles of clothing that I haven't made before. Have any of you made shoes? Here are some links with ideas on that. So if we really need to save money I guess we can try it! :-)