I would love to have my family wear 100% natural, homemade clothes, but it is just NOT going to happen around here anytime soon. We are on a very strict budget and it does not allow for purchasing even enough 100% natural fabric to make our clothes, not to mention, that I do not have the time to do it. So the next best option for me is to make sure that we are reusing clothes, and so I buy 90% of our clothes at Goodwill. I honestly don't shop often for myself - I have mostly have enough in my existing wardrobe, but when I have a need, I will always look there first.
Oh, and I should say before I go too much further, that I really try and limit the amount of clothing that we have. It makes it so there are less clothes that I need to buy, and less clothes that I need to wash, and less clothes that I need to store. I usually go with the 7 rule - 7 shirts, 7 pants, 7 sweaters, 7 underwear, 7 socks The girls tend to have a mix of 7 skirts and dresses. For shoes, I do 1 pair of gym shoes, one pair of dress shoes (one for spring/summer and another for fall/winter), and Super usually has two pairs of dress shoes (one black and one brown), and one pair of boots. The season before, I look to see what each child has and what they need, and put it on a list and carry it in my purse so that if I'm out, I can look for what we need so I don't end up with lots of bottoms and no tops or whatever.
Back to Goodwill - I usually hit Goodwill once a month, generally the first weekend, but not always. I do spend at least an hour there. I will look through the housewares and add to our cloth napkin supply, look to see if they have any bedding that we need (I want to get flannel sheets for everyone. So far, I've got one set.), then I look through all the trays, baskets, wooden items, vases, etc. for preschool. I find the BEST stuff for preschool here. Then I look at clothes for the kids, shoes for anyone, clothes for me, and then the children's books. I've really filled out the Montgomery Academy Library this way too. I've found some classic, out of print, hardcover books here. I almost felt bad as I paid them under 50 cents for it since I knew that it was worth much, much more.
We have other thrift stores here in town and I probably should check them out too, although I think that for right now, it does suit our needs to just do thrifting once a month. I think that if I shopped more often than that I would end up buying things that I didn't need.
I also try to do my part to donate to Goodwill too, or at the very least to give our clothes and other things to others that can use them. I'm hoping that if I keep giving, that I'll keep finding great stuff. So far, my theory is holding true!
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