THE SETUP: Some of you may know that my family and I will bid adieu to Baltimore in mid-August. Since our announcement, I’ve had a few requests from moms and dads to share my Baltimore parenting knowledge. More specifically, I’ve been asked to blog about Baltimore parenting on the cheap. You got it!
Check back for my favorite hacks in food deals, entertainment and parenting in general. In this post, I am going to share info on shopping. Here are this frugal mom’s favorite places and deals.
VALUE VILLAGE: I love, love, love this place. This is the only place that I shop for clothes for my family. Give it a try! When you do, register for a rewards card and visit on Saturdays to earn double reward points. Also, visit on holidays for massive savings and double reward points. You never know what you’ll find, so visit often.
This is how it works. Every day, there are at least two color tags on sale: one 50% off and the other 35%. Teachers, students, senior citizens and military receive additional discounts. Sometimes when they’re overstocked or on holidays, three tags will be on sale.
I’ve walked out of this place with an entire new wardrobe (something like seven pair of pants, six blouses, three sweaters and three pairs of socks) for about $33. Some of my favorite non-clothing or book finds were: a $7 Micro mini-scooter, a $10 Maclaren stroller, one 36-pack of newborn diapers for $1.91 and a Timbuk2 bag for $2.92.
One day my sister-in-law purchased a double BOB stroller for $39! You better believe I was a bit heartbroken when she spotted it first. (She kindly offered it to me, but I couldn’t allow that.) I’ll also admit that even though I shop here, I mostly look for J.Crew, Banana Republic, Express and the Loft. Those brand work for me and I like them. As long as you’re willing to sift through racks, you’ll probably find what you’re looking for at a fraction of department store costs.
Seriously, visit this place. Say hi to Alma and Ms. Lisa for me. Ms. Lisa is my favorite. She spoils my babies.
TOT SWAP: This place is helpful, because it’s only baby and kids’ items. Prices are usually higher than Value Village, unless you get lucky. I scan the shoes and larger items before anything else. I always stock up on shoes, because the variety and sizes far exceed those of Value Village. I can easily drop $50-$80 on shoes alone (granted my kids will have shoes for three years). Sunday Savings is 50 percent off day and Dollar Dash Day is Monday. Items up to $20 are $1 and items priced over $20 are $5. Generally speaking though, the place is cleared out by Monday. But you can still get lucky on Sunday, if you’re early.
MOM SALE PAGES: For me specifically, the SE Baltimore City Family Yard Sale Page on Facebook has a lot. Check out your neighborhood page. This is the one other place where I’ll consider buying clothes for my kids. The beauty of this is that I never have to leave my neighborhood to get what I want or need.