Monday, 23 November 2015

Mommy Money Matters: Stocking A Winter Wardrobe

The change in the season has been a dramatic one in my laundry room. I certainly didn't appreciate how comparatively few loads shorts and t-shirts generated before long sleeves and jeans struck. Little things, like making sure he has enough clean socks, is suddenly a concern in a sandal-free morning routine, never mind remembering where mitts and hats got left, and it really slows things down. Finding that balance between so few clothes you're doing laundry every night, and owing two dressers full of stuff they grow out of over night is tricky. And when you start talking about outerwear? Where do you start! What is enough, and how can you get the most out of what you have? We clever mamas have a few tips to share...

The Basics:

Your little one is not only going to be wearing more layers, you'll need spares for your diaper bag or daycare bag. This means mixing and matching. Three piece sets are cute, but if your outfit is bright red and your back up olive green it will look - interesting. Not that matching always matters, you'll just have an easier time of the whole getting dressed routine if you have a few neutrals. A few grey, black, and beige sweatshirts will serve you well and work for either gender. A plain pair of track pants, leggings, or jeans to go with will go with any shirt. Try finding some bargains on fleece and cotton hoodies from thrift stores and mom-swaps, especially for those muddy toboggan rides and messy indoor painting days!

For the Feet:

With temperatures going from 19 C to snow and -3 C in the span of a few days here, your little adventurer will still need a variety of footwear. Good quality sneakers for inside and out, a pair of good rain boots, and at least one quality pair of winter boots. For sneakers, so long as they fit well, any brand will really do. Consider avoiding shoelaces until they can tie them alone. They're just a temptation for busy hands and an inconvenience for busy teachers. Winter boots merit a little more research. Getting a good brand that will last will serve you better, and retain their value for resale.  Of course, buying all of this brand new can really add up, so asking around for a bargain or looking in to consignment might help you get a deal. Oh, and make sure you have lots of extra socks for doubling up or changing out when after a post-snowman soaker!

Hats and Mitts:

Most kids don't like wearing hats - until they feel cold. Having a couple hats for your child's "mood" is sometimes the key. Anything that covers their head and ears will do the trick, so don't go overboard. Hats that attach under the chin with a snap or Velcro is ideal for babies and toddlers that will fight the hat the most.  When it comes to gloves,however, you almost can't have too many. My son had five pairs to start the season and we've already lost one. Whether you leave them at Nana's, they're still wet from school, or forgotten in the car, at some point you'll need a backup or two, or six. Keep in mind a variety of thicknesses, too. Sometimes a stretchy Dollar Store pair is good too take the edge off, but sometimes you need something waterproof and insulated for serious outdoor play. Big box stores will sell them cheapest after Christmas or off season.

How do you stay warm on a budget?  Have you scored a bargain? Tell us about it!

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