The Festival of Frugality is up at Frugal Upstate. Thanks Jenn for hosting, and for writing everything twice after it crashed the first time! As always, there are tons of great articles from the pf community. I love the article from My Two Dollars about saving money on baby costs. My husband and I are also planning to start trying for a baby later this year, and we’re of course looking for ways to keep an expanding family within a smallish budget. We plan to use cloth diapers, breastfeed, use second-hand baby clothes and pretty much avoid child care costs, since we work from home. When we started our home-based business five years ago, we knew that it would be a huge benefit when we decided to have a child, and we’re really glad that we stuck with it. Maternity clothes is another area where it’s easy to save money. I am determined to get all my maternity clothes second hand, but I will need to have business casual stuff since I plan to keep my part-time job at the library at least until we have a baby. So I won’t just be able to wear a pair of giant sweats for the whole second half of my pregnancy. I started glancing at the maternity sections of my favorite thrift stores earlier this year, and I noticed that the majority of the stuff there was medium and large size, and a lot of it wasn’t what I would call cute. I’m a pretty small person, and there are usually about three items in the small maternity clothes section whenever I look. So I started to pay attention to what was there, and if I found something that was a small and super cute, I would buy it. I’ve spent about $40 to date, and I have three pairs of work-appropriate pants, a dress, and 8 tops. All very cute and stylish, and all things that will fit my body once it has a big belly. If for some reason we aren’t able to get pregnant, I know I can resell the clothes at a consignment store for more than I paid for them. And now I know that I won’t break down and go to Motherhood Maternity when I’m 6 months pregnant because I can’t find anything at the thrift store.
I also loved Kmull’s article about thrift store clothes. As a veteran thrift store shopper, it’s always fun to see people who are trying it for the first time and liking it. I think people who have never shopped second-hand picture a thrift store as a huge ratty pile of 1070s sweaters that smell like moth balls. My husband was a perfect example. When I met him, his shopping style was to go to Structure or Gap or the Buckle and buy whatever the mannequin was wearing. It took me about two years to get him to set foot in a thrift store, and even then he would just wait for me in the book section. These days, half his clothes are from thrift stores (the other half is stuff he had before he started shopping second-hand).