Friday, January 24, 2014

The Frugal Mothers Guide to Shopping for Kids {a feature for Target}



There is no denying that kids are joyful creatures. Most of the time their pure delight for life can not be contained. Their approach is loud, effervescent and messy and they apply this to all areas – indoors, outdoors, their rooms, their clothes, their whole lives.
For this reason, we like to keep our kids’ style simple and minimal. 
Lets break it into two categories. Toys and clothes.
When it comes to toys that are essential for Summer – it’s all about the great outdoors and we’ve invested in the ‘golden trifecta’ if you will. Around here it’s the ‘classic’ toys that get used repeatedly day in, day out. Year in, year out.  You know, the toys that we 80s babies used to play with as kids – the toys that will go the distance. From baby to big. The ones that will last when left out in the weather, provide physical activity and facilitate happy, lasting memories. The items that slowing replace the baby essentials like bouncers, rockers and high chairs.
I’m pretty sure every one of us will recall bouncing luxuriously on the trampoline, filling our shoes and socks with sand in the sandpit and swinging for hours on the swing set.  It’s the eternal backyard trio. The sandpit. The trampoline. The swing set. Every backyard needs them! If you’ve got a spare $20 you can always throw in the great Australian Slip ‘n’ Slide to ensure your summer break is filled with sunshine, sweat and water- oh mercy, so good.
Kids’ clothing can be a costly essential and when you have children of both genders, the expenses are magnified. For this reason, I like to keep 'affordable quality' at the fore. I've also developed a very simple strategy when shopping for Elke and the bigger kids and adhere to the following rules with deep devotion. 
1. Always buy patterned tops - they hide all manner of dirt, grime and stains. Patterned clothing is a lazy mothers washing machine. Watch that pile of sorting disappear! 
2. Keep linens white - I only buy white bedding for my kids. It can be bleached time and time again, handed down as the kids grow and it looks beautiful. I just bought the pictured rocking horse cot linen and it's divine in Elke's room.
3. Never Iron - I have a no iron policy. Truly, if it needs ironing I won't buy it. 
4. Something for now, something for later - Whenever i'm shopping for my kids at sale time I always buy something for now and something for later. At any given time there will be bags of clothing, toys and books at the top of Dave's and my wardrobe. If it's on sale, I'll grab it.
Above is a little collection of goodies I bought for Elke. Clothes in stripes and spots and jersey in sizes 00 and 0. Linen in crispy white along with bargain priced muslin wraps and a plush cloud printed blanky. It's all easily laundered and good quality. The 30th of Jan marks Targets 'Everything for Baby' sale and you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll be able to gather a little something for now as well as some treasures for later.



6 comments:

  1. Any idea what the Target baby sales actually like? Is it a bit like a boxing day sale in its' madness? Or is it pretty calm? Just wondering if it's worth braving for my first baby :)

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    1. Hey Joy, I suppose it really depends where you live. Where I am it's typically pretty calm. The thing with boxing day sales is that they involve EVERYONE- with target sales, it's just one store.

      xx

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  2. Beautiful items for your lovely little ones. Sometimes when I rock up at Target I am disappointed as their stock looks in a mess and it doesn't look special and nice like in your images.

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  3. re no 2- great idea, never occurred to me!

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  4. i went to target the other day and was just drooling over the gorgeous clothes they have for little girls under two...i was so jealous as i have a little boy under two and the clothes for boys are just not the same...

    a lovely post. :)

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  5. What beautiful things you found at Target for your little ones ,they look so pretty and i agree about the patterns and the white linen cause children have to play and get dirty,they should be allowed to be children as they grow up so very fast and i do not iron (much) only when i really have to.

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em