Families

Bargains help when shopping for growing kids

When it comes to shopping for kids, there really is no such thing as an investment piece.

Kids grow. It's a fact of life. And they do it fast. And while they're growing, they're also spilling, tumbling in the mud and sliding through the grass, so the idea of plunking down big bucks for a cute dress or a sweater that they'll stain or grow out of in a matter of months (for babies, even weeks) can feel a little pointless.

But don't despair: there are plenty of options out there to get kids clothes on the cheap.

GO ONLINE

The Internet can be a great resource when it comes to getting deals for kid's clothes. If you want new, you can try flash sale sites that offer limited-time sales for a variety of different brands. One site that focuses on families and kids is zulily.com. The site offers clothes, accessories, toys and décor for babies and kids, often at about half-off retail price. To tap the second-hand market online, try a site like swopboard.com, which offers a chance to buy gently used items from families in your area, and you can use the site to sell your items as well. A percentage of each sale goes toward local schools.

SECOND-HAND AND CONSIGNMENT SHOPS

Whatcom County offers a plethora of places to shop for gently used clothing for kids and babies. Second-hand and consignment shops let parents find name-brand outfits that may have been worn only a few times at a fraction of the cost of buying new. Once your little ones grow out of their clothes, consigning is a great way to recoup some of the cost of new clothes as well.

Here are a few places to find deals on used kids' clothes:

- Little Red Wagon, 410 W. Bakerview Road, Bellingham, or 1889 Front St., Lynden.

- Flip Kids & Maternity, 189 Telegraph Road.

- Wee Ones Reruns, 2450 James St.

- Little Bugs, 2400 Yew St.

- Half Pints Children's Consignment, 2701 Meridian St.

GARAGE SALES

Garage sales are the old standby when it comes to picking up deals and finding hidden treasures, including plenty of kids clothing and toys. When the weather gets nice, you can find garage sales sprinkled throughout the county on any given weekend. To find them, just check the classifieds section of The Bellingham Herald. If you want to jam your garage sale shopping into one weekend, Ferndale puts together a community-wide sale every spring, and Birch Bay Village has a yard sale every summer. Local nonprofit Lydia Place puts together its Mother of All Garage Sales each summer as well.

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