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Shop Winter Gear on a Budget

Amber Brandt  |  November 21, 2023
There’s a popular Scandinavian phrase that says, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” Thick wool socks, warm down parkas, and boots designed for sub-zero temperatures make a world of difference when you’re navigating life in the winter, but what if funds are a little too tight to buy high quality winter clothing or gear this year? We’ve got you.
  1. Shop secondhand and thrift stores. The good news about consignment stores, resale shops, or secondhand retail outlets like Goodwill or Once Upon a Child is that they’re always being restocked. As children outgrow their clothing, parents clean out closets to make room – and because kids often only wear snow pants, coats, and boots for one season, you can always find reasonably-priced treasures with lots of life still left in them. Pro tip: Head to thrift shops in upscale or pricier neighborhoods.
  2. Watch Facebook Marketplace and other local sites. When the weather starts to get colder, many people turn to social media platforms to look for low-priced goodies. Sure, things tend to go quickly, but if you refresh these sites regularly and keep a short list of terms you want to search for, you can respond quickly. You may even want to set up alerts for keywords you wish to monitor.
  3. Coordinate a “swap meet” with other parents. Do you know parents with kids around your age or a bit older? Tell them you’d love first dibs on buying some of their kids' hand-me-downs before they donate or sell them elsewhere.
  4. Watch for end-of-the-season deals. As kids get older, it may be harder to anticipate which size they’ll be wearing the following year, but during those elementary years, it’s relatively plug and play. Keep an eye out for clearance sales at your favorite kid sections or department stores and pick-up brand-new items for as much as up to 60% off.
  5. Buy big. When you find a great deal, purchase the size they’ll wear next year (or even the year after that!).
  6. Pick through the racks. Sometimes you can find a really good, unexpected deal at a major retailer – you just have to search the rails. Small flaws or last year’s designs get major markdowns at places like TJ Maxx, Old Navy, Gap, Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, Costco, or outlet malls near you.
  7. Consider using ThredUp. Great for parents and kids alike, Thredup is an online hub for selling and buying consignment clothes and accessories. You can search by size or brand, and keep your preferences saved to receive a digest of new items that have been added to match your search criteria. If you create an account to sell and ship your items, you could break even when you shop there too!