Finding hand-me-downs is easy for some parents.  Relatives, friends, and neighbors that are eager to clean out their own closets eagerly drop of piles of clothing at a moment's notice.  That used to be me.  I had so many beautiful, gently used clothes coming in from friends and family that I never had to buy a single new item for my eldest in over five years.  But then, all ot once and for various reasons, my sources dried up.  At first, I thought my luck had run out.  But then I realized that all you have to do is ask around a bit and more eager sources soon pop up. 

Exchanging hand-me-down clothing is the green way to go...it prevents waste and helps reduce the use of new materials.  It's also great on your wallet.  Kids grow up and out of their clothing at an alarming rate.  So it's silly to spend your hard earned dollars on a closet full of brand new duds.  Here's how to find hand-me-downs for your child:

 

Put the word out: Let your friends, family members, and co-workers know that you're on the lookout for hand-me-downs.  Even if they don't have kids in the same age range, they may know someone else who does. 

Check at church: Many churches keep a stash of clothes for parents to exchange within the community.  One local church in my area actually hosts a monthly "Exchange" where parents can bring a bag of used toys, books, and clothing to exchange for another.  The Exchange is open to the entire community, not just church members.  Talk to church leaders in your community to see if there are any simliar projects near you.

Surf the web: Websites like Freecycle and Hand Me Downs are great places to search for free and gently used kids clothing. 

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