Winter is close upon us, and as any parent knows, outfitting a child for winter, especially if you live in the north, can be a costly proposition. There is the need for a jacket, hat, mittens or gloves, snow pants, and of course, snow boots. Warm, dry, little feet are happy feet! Snow boots can be quite expensive, though, even for little feet.
Last winter, my finances being in shambles, I decided to buy my little boy’s winter boots at a big box store. I paid $20 for the boots, which, even at that low price, was a stretch for me at the time. Well, it took less than one month for those boots to self destruct on those little 6 year old feet in the midst of a Montana winter. I was extremely disappointed, and still broke, fretting about how to replace them so soon. I vowed I’d not make the same mistake again. Cheap isn’t cheap when it ends up costing you more in the end.
We are now back living in Maine where the winters are no less harsh. Maine is also the land of LL Bean and they make terrific, durable, outerwear for winter, but not for folks on my budget. Enter the local kids used clothing shop. I have had luck of a mixed sort of kind there–when I go looking for pants in his size, they have none, but I find some swell shirts—that sort of thing. It’s always a bit of a gamble as to what I will find.
Despite my tight budget, I remained determined not to buy my son cheap winter boots this year, so into the used children’s clothing store I went. And, there they were–a pair of LL Bean winter boots in his size with room to grow, in excellent condition. The liners were in the boots and fully intact, and they looked almost new. I bought them on the spot, for the bargain price of five dollars! Oh, happy day! I walked out wondering just how much money I had saved.
It didn’t take me long to find out, as I had a current LL Bean catalog at home, because there is absolutely no harm in “window shopping.” In that catalog, I found a pair of the exact boots that I had just bought for my son, right down to the same camo fabric, priced at $50 for a new pair. Score one for the huge savings team! I know that these boots will last this winter, and probably part of next winter, and his feet will be warm and dry! I am a happy Mommy and he likes them, too!
If you have a child or two to outfit for winter, check out your local used clothing shops and thrift shops and you may be surprised at the wonderful deals that you find. If you fail to find what you need locally, check out eBay, or your local freecycle. People are constantly giving away children’s good used clothing and gear, and it is often name brand, good quality stuff. Kids wear out shoes and clothing fast enough, if they do not outgrow the items first. Why spend a fortune, or even a small amount of money, on something that is going to fall apart quickly? Invest your money in recycled winter gear for your children that will last. Your bank account will be happier and so will the planet. You can save a bundle and still be bundled up well!