Shameless Savings

momshopI love to shop.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to support this passion.  Consequently, I’m often put in a situation that’s all too familiar to parents:  kicking pride to the curb.

Admit it; you’ve done some pretty gross things since becoming a parent.  Goodness knows I have learned to exercise an immeasurable amount of humility since giving birth.  For example, I never thought I would willingly stretch out my hands to catch another person’s vomit.  Ditto for plucking poop out of the tub with my bare hands.  I also never imagined I’d allow my shirt to be used as a tissue.

Then, there’s this little nugget of shamelessness:  I once cut off the bottoms of my daughter’s favorite footed pajamas so I didn’t have to buy her new ones.  She wore those “Toy Story” PJs for another five months.  I figured I saved at least 10 bucks from my innovative repurposing job.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then desperation is the grandmother.

When you don’t have the dough to buy new, allow creativity to take over.  Don’t feel ashamed to chop the feet off those jammies if it means getting through the rest of the winter season; flash a smile when you successfully repurpose your daughter’s torn sweater into arm warmers by cutting off the sleeves; and pat yourself on the back when you sew a new piece of fabric to create your own onesie extender.  There’s nothing wrong with finding ways to breathe new life into your child’s aging wardrobe.

Other ways to save when you can’t afford to constantly shop include:

Go neutral:  By purchasing gender neutral clothing your kids can share clothes.  Sweaters in shades of green and yellow can be worn by boys and girls.  In addition, raincoats, gloves, winter hats, and pajamas in neutral colors can be handed down to various kids regardless of their gender.  This allows you to maximize your investment and stretch your dollar.

Take care:  Don’t let kids trash their outfits.  You can also do your part by taking care of clothing items by tending to stains right away, weather treating outwear and footwear, following the care instructions featured on the product’s label and hanging clothes to dry rather than relying on electricity to do the job.

Buy big:  I often purchase my daughter’s winter gear a little bigger than her current size.  Don’t be afraid to buy a size up when purchasing seasonal items, especially winter items that are more comfortable if they are a little roomy.  Winter outwear is not cheap and having to buy a coat for your kid each year can put a real dent in your budget.  Buying a larger size ensures that you won’t have to run to the store when the first flake falls.



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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.