Monday, April 4, 2011

Random Post of the day - How the dramatic rise in the price of cotton effects you and a few ideas to help

One of my favorite Mommy Bloggers who has been incredibly supportive and encouraging and thought provoking for me has been Gabrielle who writes "Couponing in Critical Times".
Just the name of her blog alone is powerful - these are critical times and the light at the end of the tunnel is 
more like a dot right now.  
Now more than ever couponing is vital to my families ability to make ends meet and actually have some money over at the end of the month to go into savings.  
I know I primarily focus on saving money on groceries and household/personal items
but I should also be sharing ways to save on other items as well.  After reading several articles including 
I want to start my focus on that one thing that you cannot live without (unless you want to get arrested)
- clothing!

The price of cotton has jumped an astonishing 55% in the past year alone!
There are several reasons for this - just like with food, fuel costs and
crazy weather have had huge effects on pricing and like food and fuel cotton is traded on a futures market.
(While I understand what a futures market is I truly think it is a bunch of greedy people 
playing with our money and driving up prices - soapbox moment over).
Farmers have even been hoarding cotton instead of selling in order to drive the price up even further and make more money. 
The rise in cotton prices is also causing the prices for synthetic materials (polyester and such) so creep up
as apparel companies are searching for alternative materials to use.

The United States is slated to increase cotton production about 15% this year however we will be selling most of it to other countries to make our fabric and clothing for us and then we will buy it back at a much
higher price - oy!
This seems to be a bullet that we as consumers will not be able to dodge. Prices are 
expected to start rising this month and there is no expectation for them to go back 
down anytime soon. 

So why and I telling you all of this?
I think there are a lot of great ways to dress you kiddos for less and
by the time Fall rolls around prices will be much higher than the same time last year so
why not get started now on things you need?

A few ideas:

Consignment Sales - I admit that I have never been to a consignment sale, huge crowds 
are very hard for me to deal with.  But I know that you can find incredible deals and also make a little extra money by selling your child's gently used items.
There are several through out the year.
Check out HERE to search by weekend and location for sales near you.

Online Clothes Swapping Sites - These are becoming more and more popular.
You pack boxes of your child's clothing and post it to swap,
then you can select other's boxes and have them delivered to you.
It is usually about $10-$15 per transaction (shipping costs),
you will usually get 10+ items of clothing and you can usually view pictures of the clothing that 
will be in the box.
Two sites that I trust are and

You can go HERE right now and get a Pro-membership and your 1st box ($36 value)
to ThreadUp for just $10 (it is just $5 if you are new to Tippr).

Second Hand Stores:  I love these stores.  You can find very gently used clothing at very reasonable
prices.  You can also bring in your gently used clothing/toys/baby gear and get cash or credit
to spend in the store.  I like Once Upon A Child - I have found great deals on 
holiday dresses and winter coats.

These are just a few ideas to think about - I always keep my eyes on the clearance
racks - I will be looking for socks and underwear and cotton separates to go on clearance - they may be a little big for my girls now but I will just put them away until Fall.  Talk to your neighbors too,
I have wonderful neighbors and we swap clothes around all the time - this is a great way to 
stay stocked up on play clothes and it doesn't cost us a penny!
There is no need to panic and I don't write this with the intention of making you panic.
This is just another place in the household budget that we will have to get creative and proactive in 
they way we buy.
I never buy anything for myself that is not on a clearance rack (sad isn't it?) 
and my girl's wardrobe is much the same way -
this will work with them for a few more years at least =).

Do you have any other ideas on saving $$$ on clothing your family?


  1. I can't believe you have never been to a consignment sale. Once you get started they are addictive.


    Thought you may want to see this.