Inventory Calculations

Today I inventoried my children’s clothing. Not just the clothing in their drawers, but also the clothing I have in boxes waiting for one or another of them to grow into. The point of this time-consuming inventory is to generate a list of clothing I need to acquire for each child so that as they grow I already have new clothes on hand. The major advantage of this list is that it allows me to get them “new” clothes that are in fact used. Because I know what they don’t have in the next size up, I can be shopping carefully at thrift stores, second hand stores, and even yard sales.

I got this idea from a book The Tightwad Gazette III. The author of the book is able to buy all the clothes her 6 kids will need for under $50 per year. I don’t expect to be able to manage that. I don’t have the energy or inclination to chase yard sales every weekend all summer long as she does.

While generating the list I’ve discovered some interesting things about clothing supply around here. Kiki has lots of clothes. Mostly they’re donated by a slightly older cousin. Gleek has even more clothes. She has clothes from Kiki and also clothes from the cousin’s younger sister. This is alright because once Gleek has grown out of the clothes I hand them back to the cousin’s baby sister. Patches is alright on clothes, I have some from Link, some from my mom who likes buying baby clothes, and a few holes to fill. The weakest point in my clothing supply is Link. I have no clothes at all in reserve for him. He simply doesn’t have a nearby cousin who is larger than he is. Oh well.

I love the fact that my family believes in handing clothes around. It has saved all of us lots of money and stress. It isn’t just the kids either. My sisters and I trade clothes too. Only it’s a little more difficult since they moved so far away.

Anyway, the inventory is done. Now I need to summon the energy to deal with two small children in a thrift store. Not happening today. I’m too tired.

4 thoughts on “Inventory Calculations”

  1. Wow. I’m impressed – your Wednesdays so far have been packed and exhausting, with no free time for extra tasks like clothing inventories!

    Does the writer of that book take her kids with her to the yard sales? It sounds like that would be a recipe for spending more money than you save … mom’s poking around the clothing and the kids are developing serious I-want-it’s looking over the toys up for sale! Hmm, I wonder if the $50 includes the gas used in driving to/from all those yard sales 🙂

  2. The schedule this Wednesday was simplified by Kiki being sick. This cancelled half of the running around that I had to do.

    Dragging kids along is the major reason I have no interest in power yard saleing. I actually enjoy yard sales if I don’t have to argue about what to buy and when to leave.

  3. You are so organized.

    I have two older female cousins, so I got tons of handmedowns from them growing up. And everything they had seemed so cool and glamourous. Now when I have nice clothes to give away first I offer them to my Mom who sometimes will take them for kids of her coworkers. It’s nice to know things you loved are going to a good home 🙂 (Oddly now I’m working on a weeding project at work where I get to coordinate sending donations of books to other libraries…yay recycling!)

  4. Makes sense 🙂

    But … now you’ve got Howard at home during the days. Any chance he could be talked into babysitting while you go hit the yard sales on Friday? In my experience, the Friday morning-through-midday timeframe is the best for finding things not already picked over. Particularly the real bargains and better-condition stuff.

    On a side note re: frugality, I’ve been experimenting with cooking from scratch lately. Lots of stuff can be accompanied by rice+spices, I’m finding out. And even the wild brown rice, the yummier-tasting stuff, is quite cheap. The chicken stock from bargain-markdown bulk wings & backs is enhanced a good deal by snagging a carrot & a bit of celery from hubby’s salad bowl. I can make a couple of days & nights’ worth of super-tasting wildrice & mushrooms mixture for about $3. Folded into a burrito w/veggies for lunch, too.

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