A Guide to Buying Clothes for Kids…

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I love to shop . And to me the best part of shopping in finding a bargain . When I had my last three kids I had to learn the hard way that bargain shopping wasn’t a bad thing. Picture me with 3 babies all under the age of 3 trying to save money as well as making sure that they were well dressed. Hand me downs didn’t work in my case I had one really tall baby girl and one premie and the last was a boy . So I didn’t even get to hand down car seats.  I had to learn how to shop and I had to learn quickly. This is post is for new moms, and moms of multiples.

Because we stayed home most of the day I learned that things like tee shirts and jeans were a waste of money and time unless we had some place to go that I couldn’t get by in sleepers. I invested in sleepers. You can purchase sleepers anywhere , I preferred the one’s from Carter’s . They were virtually stain proof, held up during unfortunate diaper accidents and the knees didn’t wear out as they learned to crawl. The best time to purchase these sleepers are during off seasons. My babies were born in the Spring and Summer so I hit the jackpot with footie sleepers . They were on sale and if you purchased enough you would get money that will go toward a new purchase. I live in the south and yes it gets hot here but when they are smaller they are inside so it didn’t affect us .

I chose Walmart for the clothes we wore when we had to go to places likes the grocery store and out to the park to play . Why  Walmart? Well Walmart has clothes under $5 and the way kids make messes these clothes could be worn once and then tossed and there was no remorse. Now I was limited on the things I purchased from Walmart. If you want clothes that will last longer than one wear, only by tee shirts and some of their shorts . Wash them on delicate in cold water and lay them flat to dry.   Also take advantage of their shoes. Kids grow out of shoes so fast , Walmart is the best place to purchase play shoes or shoes for school especially if they frequent playgrounds.

I shop at Kohl’s for some of their important clothes , these are the clothes that we wear to youth group, doctor appointments and sporting events. Skirts , leggings, jeans, shorts and jeggings are all purchased at Kohls. Kohl’s features  Sonoma and Jumping Beans and they have  all sorts off mixed and matched clothes and they are often at fun prices. And if you shop on the weekends you can often collect Kohl’s cash …the best part of that is that your next outfit can be on them. And Kohl’s always and I mean always has coupons, 10%-20% can be your next cup of coffee.

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Another go to place for clothes is Carter’s again Carter’s has amazing sales. And once you’ve spent over $50 you get $10 dollars in cash to spend on your next purchase . One thing about Carter’s is often you can  purchase more than one item with that $10 back and since I have multiples they often have sales that are buy one get one 1/2 off or buy one get two free. The selection is wonderful and their fabric is just what kids need.

There are few pieces that we all need to make investments in like boys clothes, dresses,  jeans, church shoes and sandals  . Saving the money that I have saved by shopping very thrifty gives me the opportunity to purchase some major items  and still not break the bank. Some items are just worth the investment more than others. I look at boys Sunday clothes as those items to make an extra investment i. Also girls smock dresses , mary jane’s and sandals are investment pieces but you don’t have to break the bank in making these purchases if you purchase them out of season. Take advantage of those end of season sales or going out of business sales.  I purchased some items from Gymboree during their going out of business sales that will probably be used  next fall. You can gage how big your child is and if you cannot you can always sell the items to buy new items.

Another place for me to purchase some of the more expensive pieces is TJMaxx, Marshalls and Burlington. It takes some time to look so take a day during the week when you have time to look carefully.  They carry brands like Ralph Lauren , Jessica Simpson and more . And though people think that these items are over runs or items that are messed up they are often the same things that are in the stores currently just at half the price.

One thing that I also learned really early is that shoes were optional when you have babies. They don’t walk , and if they are crawling the shoes can be ruined. I saved a ton of money by waiting until it was time to walk for shoes and then I made an investment . I spent $80 on walking shoes and they usually carried them until age 2 or 3 depending on when they started walking  . Some very good stores let you trade your walking shoes in for their first pair of sneakers. Again shoes are my investment to my children, prices are usually not an option because you want to get your money worth when buying shoes for kids. The only exception is play shoes.

All in all use wisdom in shopping . Kids don’t care if they are wearing Ralph Lauren or Osh Kosh …Basically

 

Raising Kids

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There is no easy way to raise kids.  There are no rule books that you must follow. Basically once you give birth to a baby you are on your own . It is up to you on what you want your kids to eat, how much you want them to eat. You are the person who introduces them to their first words, their first foods, how long they can play outside. Which toys they can play with and how much time they should be playing. Usually we teach them the words, thank you or if you’re southern you teach them to say yes ma’am and no ma’am, yes sir and no sir. And chances are once they are speaking we teach them that polite words are always please and thank you .

You know from the time I had my first son till the time I had my last son , times had really changed ( 13 years) . 18 years ago I wasn’t worried about BPA in bottles, or whether or not formula was good. I didn’t care about him being outside bare foot or the cartoons that he watched having an emotional affect on his life. I did care if he ate  enough, got plenty of sunlight and was able to articulate his feelings , I also cared if he respected his elders.  I think that my village was able to produce a well rounded young man . Fast forward to this time and life is so much different. Not only are we very over protective of our kids, we are raising a group of bullies.

I cannot even count on my hands the amount of times I have gone to playgrounds, youth sessions and saw so many children who were not only rude but they didn’t understand what it means to share. They couldn’t use words to articulate their feelings, they spent too much time crying and hitting instead of talking and trying to understand that life is about waiting your turn , and to allow someone to have a turn. Then we have these parents who sit back and think this is cute.  They say things like, ” she loves to swing,” “she’s never had to share,” “I’m so sorry, they never act like this at home.”  They laugh but its troubling.

Trust me these lessons mean the world to anyone who has to deal with children on a regular basis. I work as a youth pastor and trust me the worse students are those that feel entitled. I know that I mentioned it being no rule book for raising your kids but here is a list of things that I’ve learned with my children , it helped me and I am sure it’ll help you as well.

  1. There are more people in the world than them.
  2. Sharing is caring.
  3. You solve problems by talking and reasoning.
  4. Other problems are solved by being quiet and listening.
  5. It never hurts to say I’m sorry.
  6. Always be polite.
  7. Please and Thank you are magical words.
  8. Always add a prefix when speaking to an Adult Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms etc
  9. Always treat someone like you want to be treated.
  10. All comments shouldn’t be heard.
  11. Everyone has something special about them .
  12. It’s ok to lose.
  13. Work hard at everything you do .
  14. Naps are always the best way to solve a bad day.
  15. Speak to everyone every time you enter a room .
  16. If someone gives you anything no matter what it is …always say Thank you.
  17. Never exclude anyone bc they may seem different than you . You maybe different to them.
  18. Sometimes being quiet is ok.
  19. Parents always have the last say.
  20. Always keep your hands to yourself.

 

I am sure there are more that I left off but all of these lessons I have had to teach to all of my kids these 20 things at one time or another . Did they learn all of these lessons once ? No but practice makes perfect…well Basically!