We clothe our family of 11 for $25 a month. We have done it for this or less since we have been married. Now lest you think that our children run around in rags, we have gotten compliments from near strangers about how we must spend a fortune on dressing our children in such cute outfits all the time. We just laugh and know that God provides. We believe that our clothes communicate to the world around us, so we try to clothe our children with things that are stylish (not necessarily trendy), modest, tidy and clean. (Unless they are playing in the backyard.)
So you may wonder how we clothe 11 people for about the price of a pair of jeans. (You can still get a pair of jeans for around $20, right?) Simply put, it is God’s provision for us. There are several ways that He has provided for us in this area. One year when I was switching out the seasons I realized that we had no clothing for our oldest, Amber. Mark and I prayed and the next day, literally the next day we were given two big bags of clothing for Amber. The clothes continued to pour in throughout that week until she had more than she could use. We make it a habit to pray for our needs and the Lord has been faithful to provide for us. (Luke 6:38 and Mal. 3:10)
The vast majority of our children’s clothes are given to them via hand-me-downs. It is another way that God has graciously met our needs. We often receive more hand-me-downs than our children can wear. We have benefited from hand-me-downs from friends at church, co-workers, receptionists at our dentists office. We have even had friends of friends ship us boxes of clothing.
We have had people buy clothing for our children. It is amazing to me, but in both the churches where we have been members we have had women who enjoy shopping at second hand shops who have bought clothes for our children. Oh, and the adorable matching dresses that our girls are wearing in this picture? They were a surprise, made for them by a precious, talented lady in our church.
Another way that God has provided clothing for our family is through yard sales. Whenever I leave the house to go yard sale shopping I pray that I will be wise with our money and ask God for any specific items I’m looking for. I recall clearly telling Mark before I left the house one Saturday, that I needed a couple maternity shirts (am I the only one who outgrows maternity clothing at the end of a pregnancy?) and that if I didn’t find any at the yard sales then I would head over to Target and pick up one or two. At my very first stop that morning they had a clothesline full of maternity clothes in my size priced at $.50 each.
This past Saturday I had a specific list of items that we needed for summer. For $2 I purchased 2 pairs of capri’s 4 shorts and 5 tops in the sizes that I needed and all in like-new condition. (I did tell you that I’m a clothes n*zi, right? Our children only have 8 outfits at a time, so I like the clothes that they do have to be in nice condition, at least to begin with.)
We rarely shop at consignment shops simply because the prices are a lot higher than at yard sales, but have been blessed with a multitude in the area which are a great resource if we need something specific that I haven’t been able to find at yard sales.
Waiting on the Lord to provide clothing for our large family. That Works for Me!