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  1. #41

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    Why not shop for kids at thrift stores? Garage sales? I've seen garage sales with nothing but kids clothes. My friend gets clothes for her and her daughter through donations given to an organization she is involved with. She hasn't spent a penny on her daughter's clothes in four years, and the child has a very nice wardrobe.

    I buy new clothes sometimes, but use thrift stores as well. If I need something specific, like a pair of running shoes or sandals, or a good rain jacket, I'll buy new. And sometimes I'll buy new because it's easier and don't want to take the time to go through all the racks at thrift stores. I can try on 30 pairs of pants at a thrift store and not find one that fits. But when I do take the time, I find some items that I really like.

  2. #42
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    i shopped at thrift stores A LOT when I was a teenager. My money went further and I didn't look like a clone. I was responsible for buying most of my clothes with babysitting money so I had to make it stretch. My parents would help out with things like boots and winter jackets, mostly as birthday/Christmas gifts and we got our yearly supply of socks and underwear in our stockings at Christmas. I was always welcome to use my mom's sewing machine too which is how I learned to sew. I'd just have to plan my accessories around my mistakes, lol.
    "Beautiful things don't ask for attention." -The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    For example, socks are gonna fit no matter what once they leave elementary school for the most part. And we don't do ten new pairs of pants a year. To me that sounds very excessive.
    Nope, her feet have grown since Elementary school. And "pants" includes shorts and leggings and anything that goes on the butt so probably 1-2 skirts too.

    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    Since you're in the Bay area, a good winter coat isn't really a factor.
    There are a few weeks a year it gets cold enough for a decent coat. And lots of weeks where you need sweaters/hoodies/light jackets. Lots of them. (I have a sweater on right now.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Are these the same schools that send home lengthy and very specific and pricey lists of supplies parents are supposed to buy for the classroom?
    Absolutely!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I mentioned above doing one's own laundry and sewing too - do anyone's kids do that? I think people value things a lot more if they have to take care of them as well as pay for them.
    Well mine do. They've been doing their own laundry since they were 11, I believe. And cooking, too. Not much sewing but they can do it if they have to. (And I won't do it so they kind of have to. )

    Quote Originally Posted by millyskate View Post
    It sounds to me like you're not necessarily buying expensive individual items, but just important quantities.
    Yes. I get the impression that people are just firmly convinced that no one could be spending that much if they weren't buying all designer stuff from the most expensive stores. But, as I said, she gets a lot from Thrift Shops. And no way I'm going to pay for designer clothes. Mini-Mac wanted a pair of Doc Martens this summer and I said they were too much money so, if she wanted them, she had to pay the difference between what a normal pair of shoes cost and these. And she did out of her allowance. She also bought cheap shorts and sneakers and painted them with fabric paint to make Galaxy shorts/sneakers instead of buying expensive ones. She gets a lot of stuff from friends too -- they all trade around when they get tired of their clothes to make their wardrobes last longer.

    I'm not saying she's frugal and careful with money. But she's not totally extravagant either. It's just very mystifying to me because when I look at the individual items, it all seems very reasonable. And, if we bought a few here and there, I think I'd have no idea how much we were spending, because I'd never add it up!

    Anyway, I think there isn't going to be any Back-to-School shopping at least not this week, because I set some conditions and one was that Mini-Mac clean up her room so we can see what she does and doesn't have and also that she make a list with prices so we can negotiate a budget. And she's barely touched her room. I don't see it being clean in time for school starting at the rate she's going.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  4. #44
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    Oh gosh, yes, every little bit (no matter how reasonable priced) adds up. Factor in growing kids, and it's serious $$! I should've read closer, you meant a year. Oh geez, I spend way more than $300 if you count a year. I thought you meant just regular "BTS" stuff and didn't include for things like undies, socks, bras, etc. My 2 girls are just 8 and 10 and they haven't asked for anything extravagant yet but I'm dreading their teen years. Girls in general seem to cost more in general too!

    Now you have me thinking, should I count in stuff they need for sports too? They're pretty much required every season every year. Hell, baseball for one boy alone is in the hundreds, and that doesn't even include the registration $$ for them to play.

  5. #45
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    This summer I really haven't been spending much on clothes on my family. We have two people in similar sizes so we swap clothes back and forth. We got some nice stuff from Ebay, thrift stores and garage sales over the years and they will last (no growing people in the house at the moment). Shoes are the only thing we spent good money on because of feet issues in my family.

    Last year, I got a pair of very nice red Ann Taylor that's gonna last years for 12 from Ebay. Socks - $1 or $2 per pair from sale and other discount places and I have so many of them I don't plan to buy for 2 years.

    It's also nice that we got clothes for bdays, Xmases, etc that saves us $$$$.

    I think last year we spent several hundred dollars per person to make sure we look nice and this year I don't have to worry much. Yay!

    IMHO, buying things in some big outfit (like Target) can cost lots of $$$. Unless you plan everything in advance to make sure the items you buy are the deals, which most working ppl do not have time for. If you don't have time and you think you need 5 shirts and you go into the mall (or Target or whatever) it's gonna be costly

    eta: regarding planning purchases: I fell in love with a pair of Think sandals last year. I could have bought it from a shoe sale for $100 but I cringed at the thought of paying 100 for sandals, so I waited and waited, and a year later I got it for $40 from 6pm.com. But waiting for sale and be sure you get the lowest price takes so much time (and patience) and no one has the time these days to make sure everything is a good deal.
    Since I don't have time, I find it easier to just buy my nice stuff from Ebay, thrift store and garage sales (as I stumble upon them) if I want deals. But it's always a tug of war between time and planning vs. $$$$
    Last edited by jlai; 08-20-2013 at 10:36 AM.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I insisted on doing my own laundry from the age of 14, because my mom ruined some of my clothes (that I had spent my hard-earned money on! see? I was way more invested in those clothes because I had bought them ) by tossing them in the hot wash.
    In truth, my parents didn't suggest I start doing my own laundry - I did it for the same reasons you did. Too many times I wanted a favourite shirt and it wasn't washed, or I'd outgrow things before they made it out of the sewing basket

    I see the point of some above about waste if too many loads are being done - but back when I was a teen washers were a lot smaller than they are now, and I think I managed to come up with full loads each week easily. I did my own ironing too, and I recall carefully piling my jeans and cords (!!) at full length on my bedroom floor to avoid the dreaded creases that told everyone that - gasp - your mother actually hung your pants over a hanger.

    Quote Originally Posted by halffull View Post
    Both my son and daughter do their own laundry. A full load of lights and another full load of darks, each. I'm amazed how many young adults don't know how to do something so simple for themselves. It's a simple yet necessary skill for life. I started doing my own laundry when I was 9 and am none the worse for learning at a young age. My peeve is Mr halffull's itchy work socks that are always inside out ... ugh LOL
    Speaking of sons - years ago when I first met my husband I remember future MIL give a high horse sort of speech about how she didn't believe her boys should have to make their beds in the morning or put their laundry away because they should be free to focus on school and being boys (they were adults at this point). I said "but really that was all just so you had an excuse to go into their rooms every day and root around in their closets and drawers, right?" She turned red, and a giant lightbulb went off in her sons' heads.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    In truth, my parents didn't suggest I start doing my own laundry - I did it for the same reasons you did.
    I remember begging my mom to be able to do laundry. I wanted to be a grown-up!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    IMHO, buying things in some big outfit (like Target) can cost lots of $$$. Unless you plan everything in advance to make sure the items you buy are the deals, which most working ppl do not have time for. If you don't have time and you think you need 5 shirts and you go into the mall (or Target or whatever) it's gonna be costly
    And stuff from Target doesn't last so it can be a false economy. I think PRLady said that also and I agree.

    I think that it's great if people want to spend the time to do the kind of shopping where you hunt around for bargains and buy things out of season. I hate to shop so that doesn't work very well for me. It also pretty much never worked when I was morbidly obese. At least now I do pick up items in the clearance rack when I'm out shopping with Mini-Mac. That never happened before I lost 100 pounds!

    I've also had the experience were I've bought something out of season or that I didn't need right then and there and then never ended up using it for various reasons so, again, false economy.

    Anyway, yesterday Mini-Mac came to me with her list of what she had and what she needs. For the first time in YEARS her "what she had" list actually had significant items on it! So I think we are finally out of the "change sizes every 6 months" period that we were in for a few years there. Whew.

    She also took the news pretty well that her clothing budget this year was going to be a lot smaller than last year. And that I wasn't going to buy her another pair of Doc Martens just because she wanted them. She can have them for her birthday. (She wanted to two pairs. Good grief.)

    Plus I'm going to introduce her to the joys of consignment shopping. She has a laundry basket of stuff that no longer fits or otherwise is of no interest to her and she's going to take that with her and discover you can shop off the credit from your old clothes. I think she'll like that better than Thrift Shopping even.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    In truth, my parents didn't suggest I start doing my own laundry - I did it for the same reasons you did.
    I remember begging my mom to be able to do laundry. I wanted to be a grown-up!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    IMHO, buying things in some big outfit (like Target) can cost lots of $$$. Unless you plan everything in advance to make sure the items you buy are the deals, which most working ppl do not have time for. If you don't have time and you think you need 5 shirts and you go into the mall (or Target or whatever) it's gonna be costly
    And stuff from Target often doesn't last so it can be a false economy. I think PRLady said that also and I agree.

    I think that it's great if people want to spend the time to do the kind of shopping where you hunt around for bargains and buy things out of season. I hate to shop so that doesn't work very well for me. It also pretty much never worked when I was morbidly obese. At least now I do pick up items in the clearance rack when I'm out shopping with Mini-Mac. That never happened before I lost 100 pounds!

    I've also had the experience were I've bought something out of season or that I didn't need right then and there and then never ended up using it for various reasons so, again, false economy.

    Anyway, yesterday Mini-Mac came to me with her list of what she had and what she needs. For the first time in YEARS her "what she had" list actually had significant items on it! So I think we are finally out of the "change sizes every 6 months" period that we were in for a few years there. Whew.

    She also took the news pretty well that her clothing budget this year was going to be a lot smaller than last year. And that I wasn't going to buy her another pair of Doc Martens just because she wanted them. She can have them for her birthday. (She wanted to two pairs. Good grief.)

    Plus I'm going to introduce her to the joys of consignment shopping. She has a laundry basket of stuff that no longer fits or otherwise is of no interest to her and she's going to take that with her and discover you can shop off the credit from your old clothes. I think she'll like that better than Thrift Shopping even. Which can be hit or miss around here. Though I did get some great trikes for my obstacle course this weekend there.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  9. #49

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    eBay has been my shopping source for many years.
    My friends are astonished by my "finds"; often, for next-to-nothing, including postage.

    I'm going to introduce her to the joys of consignment shopping.
    Good idea!

  10. #50
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    My daughter (now 23) is great at shopping the sale racks and using coupons. She gets some unbelievable deals, especially because she wears an adult XS size and size 5.5-6 shoes, which are often left over when the season ends. Just last week she got a $100 party dress for $10. I'm so proud she is a smart shopper! She almost never pays full price for clothing. I remember back in high school when we visited a prom dress store at a mall and she got two long dresses for $29 each - what a steal!!! They weren't top quality, but for 1-2 uses they were just fine.

  11. #51
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    I admit that, having worn hand-me-downs for most of my childhood, second-hand clothing doesn't have much allure. Even designer stuff on ebay and in the fancy consignment shops around here. But that's a personal thing, if other people like to do it more power to them.

    My daughter loves Target and Old Navy for her own shopping, but I've taught her how to figure out if that fun shirt is going to fall apart after three washings. Certain classic things -- a work blazer, a LBD, dress boots -- should IMHO last five years. Trendy stuff that is going to be dead in a year (peplum tops, anyone?) should cost $25 or less. Now she's already out of the student and into the young, broke adult category, and she sure as hell knows how to do her own laundry and even ironing when necessary, but learning good shopping and clothes-care habits early is very useful.

    When she was in high school, she was a theater kid so the insane cost of sports equipment wasn't my problem. If I had to shell out hundreds for lacrosse sticks or uniforms or special training camps the clothing budget would sure have been lower.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I admit that, having worn hand-me-downs for most of my childhood, second-hand clothing doesn't have much allure. Even designer stuff on ebay and in the fancy consignment shops around here. But that's a personal thing, if other people like to do it more power to them.
    I was going to post something similar. It's worth it to me (personally) to spend more in order to not have to wear someone else's old clothes. Then again, neither my husband nor I are fashion plates so the stuff I get for us lasts forever. DS's would too, if he didn't keep outgrowing them.

    When she was in high school, she was a theater kid so the insane cost of sports equipment wasn't my problem. If I had to shell out hundreds for lacrosse sticks or uniforms or special training camps the clothing budget would sure have been lower.
    Hockey and golf. Sometimes I don't know how we did it.

  13. #53

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    Many items sold on eBay are new/never worn.
    "Buyer's regret" is very common!

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    I don't have teenagers, but I did know lots of them from teaching. I don't think there is a typical teenage budget. Some teens grow more/faster than others. Some have very specific requirements with clothes either due to taste or necessity and some don't. My mom could save money on my footwear because I wore a size 4.5 in high school, so I wore kiddie shoes which are cheaper and more durable. This was mitigated by the truly awesome amount of money spent on hair care because my mom didn't know how to deal with my very thick curls and neither did I till college. Some wear clothes harder than others. If your child is involved in a lot of school/extracurricular activities, it usually means a bigger wardrobe. If you have one daughter who does minimal activities and stopped growing at 15, Mac's budget might seem high. If you have one daughter who is 5'6 and growing and participates in athletics, student council, and Dance Committee, Mac's budget is woefully inadequate.

    Your budget looks fine to me, for what it's worth. Not everyone wants to shop at thrift stores. If you have the means to buy new clothes without it negatively impacting other budgetary concerns, then go for it. We all spend money on things that horrify other people and vice versa. Some people might find it odd that you buy used clothes to save money but will plunk down in some cases several hundred dollars to watch skating. Or 20K rings. Or fine dining establishments. I don't spend a lot on clothing; I never have. Mac's budget could have suited me for several years. But I also recognize I spent (and still do) a lot on nail polish, make-up, and costume jewelry.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  15. #55
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    I love the phrase 'false economy'. I avoid certain stores on principal and certain stores because of quality issues. And I've given away my fair share of barely worn clothing for my son in the early years.

    He's 'growth spurted' in the middle of the year for his entire life - so pants that fit in the beginning of the year are too short by December. Same with shirts, a tall torso makes him rough to buy shirts for and he wants a certain length.

    Even Lands End quality has become an issue lately for me. I look for reviews and country of origin and read the descriptions carefully. I don't wear 'layers' so I know to avoid thin shirts. And I've sent my fair share of clothing from them back because of quality and fit issues. Pants can be sized different through color choices too.

    I buy clothing for my mother too, and she also gets the nicer items. Same rules apply, it has to be on sale. Last year, she got a $250 Lands End coat for $60, it was the middle of the winter and she wanted a longer parka. Her old coat came from Ebay, back when I couldn't give her nice things. She's had too many years of getting by on cheap clothing, I want her to look good. Her old clothes go to her senior center for redistribution, it's a win/win for everyone.

    That said, our company VP shops at a local consignment store. Brand new items for pennies on the dollar.

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    I wouldnt buy super nice items for my frugal mom because I know she will complain about how much I spend on them. If I did buy something nice I would say it was from a garage sale.
    Quality, tough issue. I in general dont have an issue with quality with very few exceptions. But then I dont plan to keep my clothes around for ten years. (I suspect very few women do. Lol our size changes and our taste changes.) That said I have mended stuff I love so they can last. And I think expectation of quality goes up with income. Anyway, since I have other areas where I do spend, clothing will not be high on the ezpense list

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    I think many things play into what one budgets for their child/teen's school clothing. Some of it practical, some of it based on the parent's personal experience with school clothes, some of it dependent upon what one thinks a teen should contribute to their own clothing needs, and the availability of quality thrift shop clothing.

    When my sons were in high school, I would consider them trendsetter types, i.e. new styles. We could at the time the guys were in high school afford to indulge some of their "wants" - but if they wanted the $75.00 sneakers that was on them. My experience in junior high school and high school was that I wore "home sew" clothes or hand me downs. I was definitely in the - look at her, she doesn't know how to dress or laughed at group. Because of that, I was willing to spend more on their back to school clothing - to avoid the pity factor. I did over spend, I know that. Because when I did earn some money by babysitting or other jobs, I could buy some of my own clothes. We put that same restrictions on them, once they were working they had to buy some of their own high cost items.

    It is easier to buy for young men - jeans, hoodies, sweaters, sneakers and jackets were the major needs. American Eagle, Gap, Old Navy, Hollister, Aeropostle were the go to stores - mostly AE. Most everything I brought (buy) comes from the sale racks - no need to pay full price because most of them go on sale when the next season comes up. My kids went through socks like they were candy. Holes in the toes, stretched out, lost them. Two of my sons have particularly sweaty feet - they would change socks a couple of times a day because of perspiration/athletes' foot/fungus,

    I think your budget for MM is a good solid one.


    Regarding chores, it is a parent's job to make a child ready to live on his or her own. Doing dishes, scrubbing the floors, cleaning the bathroom, doing their own laundry, doing the family shared laundry (i.e. towels/sheets), cooking are all tasks to be assigned. We started with washing towels when they were about 8 - towels weren't an issue if there was fading or whatever around age 12 they became responsible for their own laundry. During the summer months, they had rotating chores - one week it would be son #1 turn to do dishes, son #2 job to scrub the floors, son #3 job to vacuum. It would switch for the next weeks. Every Sunday, one had the chore of cooking dinner and the fourth Sunday it was mine. Sometimes I needed to close my eyes - often I had to accept some things done less than what I wanted. Sometimes I had to be tolerant and know that it was not a reflection on me if they chose not to do laundry, but spray febreeze on their clothes. Eventually - dating/girls overcame the lazy laundry/fabric deordant sparys

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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I admit that, having worn hand-me-downs for most of my childhood, second-hand clothing doesn't have much allure. Even designer stuff on ebay and in the fancy consignment shops around here. But that's a personal thing, if other people like to do it more power to them.
    It comes and goes for me. I went to an event and I found this cute dress at a thrift store when I wasn't even looking (Mini-Mac was there to buy some stuff for costumes) and I ran around saying to everyone "feel my $8 dress!" (The fabric felt awesome). It was fun. But a lot of times I go and I find absolutely nothing in my size. Or that I'd be caught dead in. It's too hit and miss for me. I'd rather go to my "go to" stores and *know* I'll find what I need and be done with shopping.

    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    When she was in high school, she was a theater kid so the insane cost of sports equipment wasn't my problem. If I had to shell out hundreds for lacrosse sticks or uniforms or special training camps the clothing budget would sure have been lower.
    What about the $200-300 cost per production for the "registration" fee and the $700 for sleep away summer drama camp?!

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    Sometimes I had to be tolerant and know that it was not a reflection on me if they chose not to do laundry, but spray febreeze on their clothes. Eventually - dating/girls overcame the lazy laundry/fabric deordant sparys
    Oh my. I don't know whether to laugh or cry over that one.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

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    Whomever invented Axe body spray should be condemned to live with a junior high aged boy forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    What about the $200-300 cost per production for the "registration" fee and the $700 for sleep away summer drama camp?!
    There are no cheap high school activities. There are only some that are cheaper than others.

    I have always been glad that neither of my kids can sing and therefore had no chance of being in show choir, which starts at $1500 for costumes and goes up with fees after that


    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Oh my. I don't know whether to laugh or cry over that one.
    You must not spend a lot of time with college kids, who must spend a fortune on Febreze.

    After saying I wouldn't be spending much on clothes , I had to take my daughter to buy some gym clothes--specific gym clothes, mind you, required by her class. And then the summer clothes were on clearance, so we had to see what was on clearance.

    Two pairs of (nonsale, required) shorts and shirts, plus four clearance T-shirts and a pair of capri jeans--$93.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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