Parents using new website to swap kids’ clothes and toys

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Last year, when my son Grant was 4, I told a story on air about buying him shoes that were 2 sizes too big for $10 because I was upset at how quickly he outgrew the last pair. So many people were horrified with me about the harm I was doing to my son’s feet.

Recently, I bought Grant another new pair of shoes and to my horror they were $12! But based on the feedback I got from listeners, I only went 1 size too large this time around. I’m not sure how people are going to react to that news. But the shoes seem to be fitting him just fine.

Well, there are parents who clothe their kids in a way that’s a lot smarter than I do. They’re swapping clothes, shoes and toys with other families as a way to save money. I recently read a Los Angeles Times article about a website called ThredUp.com where parents can arrange the swaps. The website’s slogan is “Clothes don’t grow. Kids do.”

Boy, is that an understatement! Grant is now wearing what are practically flood pants. Because of his growth spurts, he went from tripping on these pants to them being 4 inches too short. Now they almost look like women’s Capris and soon they’ll be shorts if I don’t get him new pants soon!

ThredUp is based on the West Coast, but this is the kind of idea that I believe has national legs. Its success is part of a new mentality of people rethinking when it’s a good idea to spend and when it’s not a good idea to spend.

For myself, I use the calendar as a cue for savings. I bought cold weather items recently as retailers have moved onto spring fashions. My goal is to buy stuff only at single digit prices, no more than $9.99 for a clothing item, and I’ve been able to do that.



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