Maternity Clothing for Less
by Rachel Shreckengast
The Maternity Wardrobe
Can't Afford Prenatal Care
Let's face it, pregnancy can be expensive. Whether it's your first or fifth, there are certain costs that pop up each and every time. Maternity clothes are a huge expense, and there are times when it's impossible to use the maternity clothes you purchased for past pregnancies. I'm currently in the fifth month of my third pregnancy and facing this prospect right now. Compared to my past pregnancies, I have grown much larger much faster. I can't use the size small maternity clothing that saw me through my last two pregnancies. So this time, I've decided to get creative.
Yard sale season is just starting here in Eastern Pennsylvania, and it is where I prefer to shop. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to find maternity clothing at yard sales. I've discovered though, that many people simply forget to put them out. If you happen to see newborn clothing for sale, simply ask if they also have maternity clothing for sale. Most of the time, someone will run into the house to bring it out for you.
Thrift shops can be a great source for maternity clothing. The clothing I've found is often out of style though, and you have to be careful to check for quality. My thrift shop secret is to only shop on days when they have specials. Many stores will have "half off" days, or days in which certain tag colors are half off. Other thrift shops run "bag day" specials where a bag of clothing is a set amount. Ask when these days are, and you'll save money on everything you purchase at that shop.
Perhaps the least expensive option is to simply keep your eyes open. If you know women who have just had a baby or are due a few months before you are, you can ask what they will be doing with their maternity clothing. You can often get the clothing for free or a small fee by doing this.
Don't forget to check plus-size clothing either. Many of the styles will allow for a growing stomach and can last throughout the pregnancy. Just be sure to find styles that allow for some room in the stomach area. Since the flowing empire style clothing is currently in style, finding such clothing should be relatively easy. Did you know that many of the discount department stores are now carrying maternity clothing? Stores such as K-mart now have a maternity line. While it's not the least expensive option, it's certainly cheaper than purchasing similar items at a specialty maternity shop. Most items are under fifteen dollars with this choice.
Regular department stores seem to be getting rid of their maternity departments for some reason, but don't rule them out. Simply check their returns and clearances. Because they no longer have such a department, the stores will usually cut the price and hope someone finds them in these racks. I got a very nice shirt for seven dollars in this manner. It was originally marked at forty!
The final option is outlet stores. The expensive specialty stores sometimes have outlets. The outlet prices are nearly as high as their regular prices, but you want to go to the back of the store where they keep a few racks of seconds, damaged and clearanced items. While some of the items truly are damaged and some are not worth taking home at any price, there are gems to be found. One shirt I found had some type of deodorant stain on it. It was on a 90% off rack, and was clearanced down to three dollars. For thirty cents, I was willing to take the risk that the stain wouldn't come out! It did come out and I have a perfectly nice shirt as a result. I've also purchased shirts where the hem was sewn crooked. A few minutes with the sewing machine corrected that easily.
I personally refuse to pay forty to fifty dollars for a tank top, and hope that some of these suggestions help you to save money on your maternity purchases as well.
copyright Rachel Shreckengast's all rights reserved.
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