30% Off Everything at Lands End [Great Deals on Outerwear!]

Right now at Lands End online take 30% off everything with coupon code SUNNY and PIN 1014.

Lands End’s Winter’s End Sale is still going on. Look for great deals on outerwear (up to 60% off before coupon), winter PJs, backpacks and more. Now would be a great time to stock up for next year.

You’ll also find  steals on non-wintery items like swimwear, UV protective rash guards and sandals.

Shipping is free with your $75 purchase. Otherwise, shipping starts at $5.95.

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Budget-Friendly Kids’ Clothes Put to the Test: Which are the Best Value?

Good Housekeeping magazine recently tested boys’ and girls’ jeans, t-shirts and polos from several of your go-to retailers: Old Navy, JCPenney, Target, Kmart, Walmart and Sears. The GH article, “Smartest Back to School Savings” (August ’09) lists the results of the tests. Here’s a summary of Good Housekeeping’s best values for budget shoppers:



Read the full article online.

What about you, readers? Do you agree with these findings? What are your favorite kids’ clothing items at budget retailers like the ones listed?

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Toddler Shoe Shopping Secrets

Secret number one: Know what your toddler’s foot needs.

Dr. Michael Pliskin, chief of podiatry at North Shore University Hospital, dishes up some toddler shoe-buying advice in the March 2008 Newsday article, “Proper Shoes Give Toddlers Good Footing.” Pliskin says that toddler shoes should “mimic the child being barefoot.” Look for shoes, he says, with the following characteristics:

  • flexible upper
  • room for growth with no tight spots or rubbing
  • made of a breathable material like canvas or leather
  • thin, flexible sole made of rubber or leather

What’s not important? Ankle support. Even arch support doesn’t matter much, he says, since toddlers’ feet are pretty flat. When your child becomes a preschooler, she walks differently, says Pliskin, and will require a different type of shoe.

Secret number 2: Don’t pay more than $25 for a pair of toddler shoes.

Here are a few shoe brands that fit the bill and fit your budget:

Robeez & Robeez knockoffs: Soft leather shoes with soft leather soles. They fit kids with wide feet, too. Name brands like Robeez and Bobux cost up to $30, but you should never have to pay that much. Sales throughout the year allow you to pick up a pair of Robeez for under $20. Robeez knockoffs, available at Target, for example, will run you about $15. Amazon has frequent discounts. Right now you can find a decent selection of Robeez starting at $14.89.

Pediped is another popular choice, though a bit pricier. Also fine for kids with wide feet, Pediped features a leather sole that’s a bit thicker than that of Robeez-style shoes. They don’t go on sale as often. When they do, you’ll rarely save more than 15% off the $30-ish price. I have seen them for under $25.

Stride Rite refers to their line of flexible infant toddler footwear as “stage 2.” More structured than either Robeez or Pediped (and less like going barefoot), Stride Rite Stage 2 shoes come in actual sizes rather than age ranges. The shoes can cost a whopping $45 new. It’s VERY easy to find Stride Rites under $20. The pair shown here is $19.99 at Amazon, where you’ll find stage 2 shoes as low as $14.89 right now.

Other appropriate–and way cute–options are Pedoodles and See Kai Run. But please don’t pay more than $25 for a pair of shoes your kids will outgrow in two months just because they’re trendy.

What are your best toddler shoe shopping secrets?

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The Baby Cheapskate Guide to Consigning Children’s Clothing

Here’s the Baby Cheapskate guide to making a few extra bucks consigning outgrown baby & kid clothes, gear, and toys:

Most consignment stores begin accepting fall clothing at the beginning of August and the beginning of March–and that’s when you can start picking up some fantastic deals on summer consignment clearance, by the way. I’ve done some research at our local kid consignment shops, and here are some guidelines for preparing clothing, etc. for consignment:

A good guideline that I’ve come across at a few stores is to take a good look at your stuff and ask, “what would I give as a gift?” Consignment stores are emphatic that they are “not thrift stores.” Items brought in should be clean and ready to go on the racks (pressed, if necessary). They should be flawless, with no stains, fading, missing buttons, etc. They should also still be fashionable.

Equipment should be clean, current and safe, with absolutely no missing screws, bolts, etc. So clean under the high chair cushion, for gosh sakes! Toys should have all their parts and be in “like new” condition.

So where do you take your stuff? Family-oriented phone directories, free local parenting magazines, and word of mouth are great places to discover what consignment stores are near you. Visit a few to get a feel for their angle. Some consider themselves upscale and will turn up their noses at your Old Navy stuff in favor of fancy French labels. Others prefer major brands like Carters but shun discount store labels, and till others accept everything.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possible stores, check their consignment policies. Most stores advertise that they sell for a third to a half off retail prices. You can expect to receive 40 to 60 percent of what the item sells for. Usually, your stuff stays at the store for about two months before it either goes on clearance or you’re asked to come get it. Some stores only pay you when you rack up a certain amount on your account, say $50. Sometimes you get better deals if you’re willing to accept store credit over cash. Some stores, like Kid-to-Kid actually buy your stuff outright, so that you leave the store with cash in-hand.

You’ll need to call the store to find out if you need to make an appointment to bring in your stuff. Some only accept items on certain days of the week. While you’re on the phone, ask whether they prefer clothing on hangers or folded neatly. Find out what item’s they currently need and don’t need. Many stores, for example, don’t have much room for equipment, and some don’t take pajamas and other sleepwear.

To find stores near you, try the directory at ResaleShopping.com. An internet search of your town plus “children’s consignment store” should also turn up a bunch.

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Free clothes are better than really cheap clothes.

No one can resist buying baby clothes. It will only be a matter of days after you make the big announcement that the first little blue or pink or hard-to-find-gender-neutral outfits arrive on your doorstep. That’s why you shouldn’t, under any circumstances, go out and buy any yourself. Well… maybe just one for the fun of it.

In addition to gifts of brand new booty, we received boxload after boxload of barely-worn baby duds from people we barely know. Baby Gap, Ralph Lauren, Hilfiger, and more. We have boxes put away full of clothes he’ll wear well after he’s walking. And speaking of which, we also have a drawer full of tiny little shoes without the slightest bit of wear. I understand, now that my son has outgrown his newborn clothes, that it’s best to keep the baby clothes door revolving–a box comes in, a box goes out. Otherwise you’ve got to find a place to store it. And I’d much rather give that box to a pregnant lady–even one I don’t know–than to an impersonal thrift store. So would LOTS of other people, tax deduction be damned.

If you’re donor-challenged, enlist your mom, friends and coworkers to go out and solicit baby clothes. Post a sign in your office lounge, OB’s office, church, wherever someone will let you. People will WANT to give you their old baby clothes, I promise! But be sure to donate what you don’t want to your local women’s shelter or DFACS.

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