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  1. #61
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    Speaking of Go-to stores, I cannot stand places where they organize everything by brand. That eliminates a lot of dept stores for me. I want to go to a store where there are racks of pants, dresses, etc. Then I go to each section and look for the particular petite size for me. It's either there or it's not. Then I can get outta there in 15 minutes (in a thrift store, it's 30-45 minutes, depending on how organized the store is). Ross used to be my #1 favorite because it's organized just the way I would organize it myself.
    I still manage to gather an acceptable collection of decent looking clothes over time, thanks to my being lucky enough to not have drastic size changes.

    Anyway, my mom has more time and energy than I do to organize her shopping so her purchases would come out cheaper than mine, (though I did't agree with the quality of a handful of her purchases). I have less time to shop so I bargain shop less than she does. Again, it's really a matter of how much time I want to devote on this. Just a week ago, I missed the sales tax free weekend and bought an 80-dollar pair of orthopedic shoes a week earlier. I would have gotten an earful from my mom, but then that eight, nine dollars of tax wasn't worth it for me to wait, but it would be worth it for someone who is willing to devote more time to plan their shopping. (That's why I don't do coupon shopping, too much time)
    Last edited by jlai; 08-21-2013 at 12:40 AM.

  2. #62
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    I worked with a woman who always dressed very nice on a limited budget. She had sale shopping down to an art. High end clothes will be more deeply discounted than lower end brands at stores like Macys and Dillards. And there is a formula on when they put things on sale. My friend went once a week on Wednesday to see what was newly on sale. She headed straight for the sale racks and was in and out in 15 minutes. It is also helpful to cultivate a sales clerk who will give you a heads up or put things back for you.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  3. #63
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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?!

    Well, no registration fee since her HS had an awesome drama department. Seriously, the theater had better facilities than some professional places, and the head of the theater department -- in a public school -- was an arteest.

    But yeah, that drama camp in the Poconos. Of course, being a working mom, I was going to have to pay for some form of summer day care anyway until she got old enough, but it was not cheap, and it only lasted three weeks. She absolutely loved it, looked forward to it all year and I'm glad I could pay for it.

    She texted me yesterday: "You should be proud mom, I clean the bathroom really well every week."

    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  4. #64
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    I don't know.... boys and girls Hanes socks are Hanes socks regardless if you buy them from Walmart, Target, or Kohls. I've also done an experiment to see if Levi's do in fact last longer than store brands like Arizona or the ones from Target and nope, they get trashed just as quickly. Why spend $30-50 on Levi's when I can buy Arizona jeans at JCPenney for around $15 during a sale and using the additional coupon they email to me? So far my kids have required a bigger size every 6 months, sometimes I have to replace quicker because the knee is ripped and so forth. I do refuse to buy Target/Payless (other discount store) shoes, they're CRAP and the soles are flapping off after 2 weeks. Bought my son a pair once when he was very young and never again.

    Activities registrations fees and materials/uniforms fees add a TON of money for our family. Registration for one child in Little League alone is $250. Of course they're going to need the uniform and other gear. Basketball is $275 and so is softball for my girls. BANK!

  5. #65

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    OT but I always have a laugh every time people shriek about an obesity crisis, yet look at how much it costs to play organized sport! I quit softball when I was 16 because I was going to have to play senior division the next season and it would be $300. By the time I quit cricket that was easily $300 a season. It's bananas.

    But then I suppose that's also part of the sue-happy culture that's developed around the world...if Timmy gets hit in the face with a wayward cricket ball, mummy and daddy no longer just say, "Oops, that's cricket, come on Timmy, let's get you patched up", they scream "How dare you hurt my little Timmy! You must be providing an unsafe environment! I'm going to sue you for everything you've got for my little Timmy's psychological trauma!"

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    But then I suppose that's also part of the sue-happy culture that's developed around the world...if Timmy gets hit in the face with a wayward cricket ball, mummy and daddy no longer just say, "Oops, that's cricket, come on Timmy, let's get you patched up", they scream "How dare you hurt my little Timmy! You must be providing an unsafe environment! I'm going to sue you for everything you've got for my little Timmy's psychological trauma!"
    They do? How have I missed this all these years?
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by myhoneyhoney View Post
    Why spend $30-50 on Levi's when I can buy Arizona jeans at JCPenney for around $15 during a sale and using the additional coupon they email to me?
    Levi's has the most size and style choices. Both my guys are narrow waisted and narrow hipped. A whole lot if the lower cost jeans simply hang like bags on them - or worse, slide right off.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    If you have the means to buy new clothes without it negatively impacting other budgetary concerns, then go for it.
    I remember seeing a TV spot with Tory Spelling many years ago (before her big split with he father), and she said she never understood why people buy clothes on sale--what's the point of that?

    Well, for her sales didn't have meaning because the point of clothes shopping was to get something vogue and in style, and finances weren't a consideration (then). So in that context, spend away.

    But this thread started with the following comments:
    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Every year I set a budget and every year I spend way more on clothes than I budget...I still feel like I'm spending too much money even though what I am buying doesn't seem that unreasonable and we even buy a lot of it at thrift shops.
    Since the issue of budgeting was the framing question, and concerns of overspending expressed, of course the discussion will veer towards cutting down expenses. If one just wants to shop without thought of money, that's fine. But that's not how the discussion was framed.

    What I do disagree with, though, is the thought that:
    Quote Originally Posted by Matry
    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.
    To me the issue isn't how many activities one is doing, but rather what is one's disposable income? The fact is most people in this country don't make enough to spend anywhere close to $500/year on clothes per child. Indeed, the average amount spent on clothes per person nationally is just $5/month.

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/what-c...nd-each-month/

    That doesn't mean it's wrong to spend more than that--only that such expenses are in the realm of wants rather than needs. I think as long as people recognize that, that's fine. But if one really is concerned with spending less money on clothes, I don't think one has to go second-hand. Simply shopping judiciously can bring down costs dramatically.
    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Nope, her feet have grown since Elementary school.
    Socks fit women's sizes 4-11 (a women's 4 being a children's 2). Most girls reach at least the bottom end of that by the end of elementary school. After that, her foot can grow quite a bit, and socks will still fit.

    If you want to spend more on clothes, that's fine. But I would disagree that it's a necessity, or that everything needs to be replaced each year even with growth spurts.

  9. #69
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    Maybe I am missing something, but really socks? A six pack of Hanes crew socks at JCPenney's is $12.00? Making my kids wear theirs for years would not save a great deal of money.
    I just checked AE - a pair of men's jeans on sale is available for $29. But in one year two of my sons grew 3 inches, so yeah we would have needed to buy new not only each year but sometimes in the same school year. None of my sons had the same waist size or chest width so sharing was not really an option.

    Yeah, some of us spend money on clothing for our children, but really? having them wear the same socks from elementary school through high school seems a bit strange.

  10. #70

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    Yeah, my son's socks get really stinky and after a while it doesn't seem to wash away. I can't imagine keeping them for more than a year, let alone all of middle school and high school!
    Creating drama!

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    Socks fit women's sizes 4-11 (a women's 4 being a children's 2). Most girls reach at least the bottom end of that by the end of elementary school. After that, her foot can grow quite a bit, and socks will still fit.
    Seriously? I know you love to have the last word in an argument and hate to admit when you are wrong but are you going to sit there and tell me with a straight face at what age my own child's sock size went from the biggest kids' size into the adult sock size and therefore no longer had to be replaced due to growing? Because it's kind of silly to think you'd know that better than I would.

    Anyway, looks like we're going to spend half what we spent last year on Fall clothes and probably 1/4 what we spent the rest of the year so I guess I didn't need to start this thread. But it was interesting to hear all the different ways that people do things and what other people spend.

    I'm thinking once she gets the holes in her wardrobe filled for school (she was down to 1 pair of pants), I'll set some monthly amount based on one of these charts and what people have mentioned and have it automatically deposited into her checking account for the rest of the year and see if she can manage the rest of her expenses herself.

    That will be fun to watch.
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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    Socks fit women's sizes 4-11 (a women's 4 being a children's 2). Most girls reach at least the bottom end of that by the end of elementary school. After that, her foot can grow quite a bit, and socks will still fit.
    As someone with a women's size 4 foot, I would argue that they absolutely do NOT fit. The 'heel' is generally up my ankle, and the toe way too wide; but kids socks are made too narrow. I actually started making my own socks because I was so fed up with not being able to buy any. (They now cost about $20 a pair, and last 3-5 years)

    I would assume women on the other end of the spectrum have this problem. What size do they actually fit nicely? For me, one size fits all generally mean that it fits none.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    What I do disagree with, though, is the thought that: To me the issue isn't how many activities one is doing, but rather what is one's disposable income? The fact is most people in this country don't make enough to spend anywhere close to $500/year on clothes per child. Indeed, the average amount spent on clothes per person nationally is just $5/month.

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/what-c...nd-each-month/

    That doesn't mean it's wrong to spend more than that--only that such expenses are in the realm of wants rather than needs. I think as long as people recognize that, that's fine. But if one really is concerned with spending less money on clothes, I don't think one has to go second-hand. Simply shopping judiciously can bring down costs dramatically.
    Uh, no. What that chart points out is that the average spent on cable tv, cell phones, tobacco (!) and other non-essentials far outstrips the expenditure on children's clothes, not that people can't afford more than $5 a month. Not to mention that people with good health insurance are going to spend a lot less on medical care, and in big cities they're going to spend way more on housing.

    If the average person could only afford $5 a month on children's clothes, the average American child would get a pair of jeans a year, maybe. Instead, that average would include people who have no children at all (no expense!), people whose children are grown and people for whom buying children's clothes is a lower priority than cigarettes. Not exactly an accurate portrait of the average American family with growing children.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  14. #74
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    Another cost that is so often not accounted for in stats is time. Maybe it's because I spent much of my working life having to account for my time down to the quarter hour and I worked in places where money was made based on how much one could bill and how well one spent time, but I always count time and effort into the equation.

    Sure, I could save money if I spent time comparison shopping and watching for sales, digging through bargain bins and tracking bids on eBay. But one trip to the mall with a tight list knowing what stores and brands work for me best and I can get the same results in an hour. Maybe a much higher dollar cost, but a much better return on my investment in time.

    I think we all make our decisions about what's worth it to us, but it does surprise me how little people seem to factor time into the equation.

  15. #75
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    That's true, Jenny, but some of us actually like the thrill of the chase. In other words, I don't have a garden in my city condo and keeping an 1100 square foot place clean (without small children) isn't hard. So if I use some leisure time for shopping bargains, it's more like a hobby and less like work. To me. That was true even when I lived in a bigger house with a HS student at home
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  16. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I think we all make our decisions about what's worth it to us, but it does surprise me how little people seem to factor time into the equation.
    Good point. I don't do extensive couponing just for that reason. I'll spend 15 minutes on it, max. Any more time, it outweighs the savings.

    I have a relative who will drive up to Kittery, Maine "to save money" on BTS. If you factor gas and time, she spends far more than other relatives who shop locally from the sale racks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    That's true, Jenny, but some of us actually like the thrill of the chase. In other words, I don't have a garden in my city condo and keeping an 1100 square foot place clean (without small children) isn't hard. So if I use some leisure time for shopping bargains, it's more like a hobby and less like work. To me. That was true even when I lived in a bigger house with a HS student at home
    But that's what I'm saying - to you, the time spent is worth it in both the dollar savings and the enjoyment. I think others - I'm one of them - would rather pay extra to free up time for other stuff they'd rather do.

    Here's a case: I used to know a guy who had a hard time sitting still on his vacation so would do the grocery shopping for the family. He'd gather all the flyers, go through them all, make an extensive list and then go to 4-5 stores and come back after a few hours with big piles of things that were on sale. One might say the time and gas money spent on his approach wouldn't make up for the few dollars he saved shopping this way. But, there was another factor: he was in the packaged foods business and as I said had a hard time keeping himself busy outside of work, so I think he actually enjoyed the opportunity to visit stores, see how his products were placed, check out the competition etc.

    So I guess it's actually three factors - dollars saved vs enjoyment of shopping/bargain hunting and thus whether or not it's worth it to you to spend the time, or if you'd rather just spend the extra money and be done with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    are you going to sit there and tell me with a straight face at what age my own child's sock size went from the biggest kids' size into the adult sock size and therefore no longer had to be replaced due to growing?
    Um, no?

    I simply contested your assertion that you had to buy a new wardrobe from scratch each year due to growing. You quoted me to talk about shoe and sock sizes, and I clarified that point since you focused on it. Why you focused on that is, well, your choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    Uh, no. What that chart points out is that the average spent on cable tv, cell phones, tobacco (!) and other non-essentials far outstrips the expenditure on children's clothes, not that people can't afford more than $5 a month. Not to mention that people with good health insurance are going to spend a lot less on medical care, and in big cities they're going to spend way more on housing.

    If the average person could only afford $5 a month on children's clothes, the average American child would get a pair of jeans a year, maybe. Instead, that average would include people who have no children at all (no expense!), people whose children are grown and people for whom buying children's clothes is a lower priority than cigarettes. Not exactly an accurate portrait of the average American family with growing children.


    I didn't say the average American family spends $5/month per child on clothing, and neither did the graph. I said most families cannot spend $500+/year per child on clothing because they don't have that much disposable income. Some posters stated how much they spend a year on clothes for themselves, and inferred what should expenses be for a teen based on that. The chart I linked to showed the average amount people spend on clothes for themselves is just $5/month. It didn't say anything about what the average American family does with growing children.

    My point was if someone thinks it's unrealistic to spend less than $500/year on a child's clothing, they have skewed perceptions on affordability and what people do actually spend on clothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    But that's what I'm saying - to you, the time spent is worth it in both the dollar savings and the enjoyment. I think others - I'm one of them - would rather pay extra to free up time for other stuff they'd rather do.
    A friend of mind calculates how much time it would take to drive to another location and back to purchase something cheaper, and then multiplies that by his hourly salary ($90/hour). If he wouldn't save substantially more than he figures it would cost him in lost time, he doesn't go for the sale. Generally that means he buys what he finds first and calls it a day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    A friend of mind calculates how much time it would take to drive to another location and back to purchase something cheaper, and then multiplies that by his hourly salary ($90/hour). If he wouldn't save substantially more than he figures it would cost him in lost time, he doesn't go for the sale. Generally that means he buys what he finds first and calls it a day.
    Well, someone with a $90 per hour salary clearly has a high income, so they may not feel they need the monetary savings (I would say they likely have high disposable income, but people with high salaries still have all kinds of debt sometimes). But I've never understood people who do this sort of thing. Unless you are giving up the $90 per hour (taking time off work), you don't make a cent during the time it would have taken to do the bargain shopping.

    I completely understand comparing gas costs, or even deciding what your frustration is worth, but to say your time isn't worth that, and then put the cost of your time as your salary is a little bizarre.


    And man, I'd sure love to make $90 an hour. I'd hire someone to go clothes shopping for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    Socks fit women's sizes 4-11 (a women's 4 being a children's 2). Most girls reach at least the bottom end of that by the end of elementary school. After that, her foot can grow quite a bit, and socks will still fit.
    As someone who has worn a size 11 since 6th grade, I wish that were true, but it certainly has NOT been my experience. Finding "regular" women's socks (i.e. the standard "fits 4-11" issue) that fit is just about an impossible task.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    As someone with a women's size 4 foot, I would argue that they absolutely do NOT fit. The 'heel' is generally up my ankle, and the toe way too wide; but kids socks are made too narrow. I actually started making my own socks because I was so fed up with not being able to buy any. (They now cost about $20 a pair, and last 3-5 years)

    I would assume women on the other end of the spectrum have this problem. What size do they actually fit nicely? For me, one size fits all generally mean that it fits none.
    Yes, they do. Having the "heel" of the sock come barely past your arch is not fitting "nicely" at all -- it's rather uncomfortable to say the least. "One size fits all" is one of the biggest myths lies of all time.
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