Thursday- Saturday, February 5-7, you'll have the opportunity to save some significant money by shopping KidsTown.  Held at the Agricenter, this event just happens to be my favorite kid’s consignment sale. For moms looking to save "mucho moulah," this is a must stop. The summer and winter sales offer needed clothing items for growing children.  Consistently valued in the hunt are the nearly new shoes. Our last shopping trip was no exception. We bought ten pairs for under $50. Most of these name-brand shoes showed virtually no wear.

Most areas have second hand sales or shops. To haul in the best savings at a sale such as Kidstown, volunteers sign up to work in exchange for shopping earlier than the public. Some work as cashiers, organizers, and quality inspectors. Some deliver flyers to doctor’s offices, churches, daycares, businesses, children’s stores, and friendly businesses. Others work to prepare the sale while others clean up after it is over. Over the years I have sorted the shoe area, toy section and helped with clean-up. Recently, I have photographed the fully stocked sale and happy customers. Photos on Facebook and the webpage tempt customers to hurry in to the sale.

Optimize Success

To optimize your success at such a venture, do the following:

Keep a list of the clothes your child has for the upcoming season." For example, when you pack up the summer clothes at the end of the season, identify what needs to be shared because it is too worn or too small. Decide whether to share the items that are too small or put them in the attic to sell at the next sale. To stay ahead on your work, hang, tag and bag items before storing them. 

Before storing clothes that will hopefully work for the next same season, make a list of what you have available. This enables you to plan properly for items you need and those you don’t. Even though it is only a few short months before you will need to switch out the closets, you may forget. When I only had one child, I kept up with more in my head. Now that my mental files are full, written lists prove more reliable. This list keeps me from overbuying or missing an essential need.

Buy the same boxes for storage. This consistency saves space and creates order. Recently, I purchased about 30 black boxes for storage to replace paper file boxes that we have used for nearly 20 years. Identify boxes with correct contents. Although we often use a Sharpie, it is almost as fun with chalk and a blackboard. Everything is looking neater with matching boxes evenly stacked.

Establish brand names that fit your child and offer quality.  Shopping second hand clothes with reliable brand names offers much more confidence than random searching.

If you are shopping without your child to estimate the correct size, do take measurements of their pant length, a drawing of their current shoe size, and any other details that might help you shop with success. Bring a cart, wagon or laundry basket with a strap for pulling. You will want to bring something with wheels to help you carry all of your bargains. 

Volunteer to work the sale so your shopping time is earlier than the public.

Results

Some of our best finds from our last haul included $5 Tom’s shoes, Amer. Eagle jeans for $5, new 2pc boy’s suit for $15, Clark loafers - size 10 men for my growing 12 year old boy, jeans for both boys for $8 each, collared dress shirts for $5 each, Nike baseball bag for $12 and more. Overall, this practice saves significant money and gives us more than we would have ever bought new.

Look for consignment sales in your area. Kidstown offers summer and winter sales.

Find savings for your family by shopping smart!

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