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March 16, 2012

How Buying Ahead Saves Us Money

For as long as I can remember, I have been buying ahead! To say I'm a planner would be a slight understatement. As a mom, I have found that buying ahead when it comes to kid's stuff: clothes, toys, books, homeschooling resources, art supplies, etc. consistently saves us lots of money

Here is a glimpse in to my approach!

How Buying Ahead Saves Us Money
How Buying Ahead Saves Us Money

When I was a kid, my mom always bought ahead for my brother and me. When it was time for a new school year to begin, we didn't go blow money at the mall - picking out clothes/shoes/supplies for the upcoming school year. My mom had already planned ahead for us! We simply went to the upstairs closet and pulled out the bins that she had prepared for that school year. I think this is absolutely genius! The goal is not to acquire (or hoard) STUFF! The goal is to simply to make the most of your time and resources. When you shop ahead it gives you plenty of time to find the cheapest of prices on the best things and you have what you need (plus a few extra fun things) when it comes time to need them.

- When I was a junior in high school, I started gathering items for my future dorm room. Why wait til the summer before my freshman year and pay full price for all that "Back-to-College" stuff?
- Since I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I spent all of my high school and college years collecting items for the classroom. You would not believe the incredible items that I found at yard sales, thrift stores, etc.
- Throughout those years, I also gathered items for "my first place" - pots & pans, cutlery, wall hangings, etc. Boy, did this save me a ton of money when it came time to move out on my own!

So you see, this "buying ahead" thing has already been a pattern for me and so it continues now. I buy ahead for my kids in every way - clothes, books, toys, homeschooling materials, etc. It's the only way to go for me & if you know me at all, you know I like to be prepared! When I was about 5 weeks pregnant with my first little one, I started stockpiling diapers and wipes (combining sales w/ coupons, etc. of course) , and we were all set on diapers and wipes - for his entire first year. I have used this same approach for subsequent babies, and it has saved us lots of cash.

Check out more tips for Stockpiling Before Baby:

As far as clothing goes, I limit myself to classic styles, neutral pieces that will work for more than one season, etc. and I typically only buy two years worth ahead in sizes. As I find like new Janie & Jack, Ralph Lauren, Baby Gap, Boden, etc. for under $1.00, I buy the items - either for my children or to resell for a profit that will be used to provide my children with items they need. I am essentially able to dress my kids for free

Here's how I do it - and you can do it, too!

This approach means that I do not buy things as I need them. I buy them ahead of time - when I'm able to get a great deal. I have the items when I need them, and I never have to overpay. 

Thank you, mom, for teaching me to plan ahead! It has saved me loads of stress and tons of money!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read about Why I Don't Consign My Kids' Clothes: