Saving Big Shopping Second-Hand With Once Upon a Child

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This post is sponsored by Once Upon A Child, however, all opinions expressed are our own.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, it costs over $233,000 to raise a child from birth to 18 in the United States. Now that’s a major price tag attached to those chubby baby cheeks!

As parents, we know raising kids isn’t cheap, but somehow, we all find a way to make our budgets work…Saturday mornings spent at garage sales, clipping coupons, reusing tin foil, cheap casseroles (covered with said tin foil), and hand-me-downs are part of the average American family experience.

As a mom of two toddlers, who do nothing but eat and grow, I seem to be constantly tossing clothes into storage totes and donation bags. I cringe at all the adorable outfits that only saw the light of day once or twice! So, in an effort to stretch a dollar, rather than running out to the department store every other month and spending a fortune, I pack up those like-new outfits and head to my favorite children’s store to snag some great deals on stylish pieces for my kiddos!

Enter Once Upon A Child

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a great deal and a bit of fun when I’m out shopping for clothes for my kids. That’s why when my kids decide to grow six inches and a shoe size overnight, I head to Once Upon a Child. I get such a thrill out of scouring the racks for great finds at rock-bottom prices! But the icing on the cake is when I’m complimented on my kids’ outfits and I get to brag about how little I spent! “Oh, thanks! Isn’t it cute? And only $3.50 at Once Upon a Child!”

If you haven’t heard, Once Upon a Child is a children’s clothing and accessories re-seller operating two locations in our area (West Ashley and North Charleston). They buy gently used clothing, shoes, toys, baby equipment, and more and resell them at super affordable prices helping your budget go further when it comes to dressing your kids well.

Did I mention I’m a BIG fan of shopping second-hand? If there’s one thing I know about kids is that they never stop growing or snacking! So, I save money on clothes with a shelf-life of, like, 90 days by shopping at places like Once Upon a Child. Now if only they sold Goldfish Crackers by the truckload…

My Latest Shopping Spree

I’ve tried to use my time in quarantine responsibly, so in between Netflix marathons and trips to the refrigerator, I did some major organization, which basically left my kids with zero things to wear. So, off I went (with my mask and sanitizer in hand) to my nearest Once Upon a Child. I had a $100 budget and a major mission to fill my cart with as much as I could!

I went home with 29 items for a $103 total after tax at the register. Not too shabby, mama!

What I Got:

  • Three sets of pajamas (all name-brand and less than $5/pair)
  • 10 shirts
  • Two pairs of pants
  • One pair of overalls (like-new, super cute Jordache brand for $2.50!)
  • Three pairs of shorts
  • Four dresses
  • Two sweaters
  • Two outfit sets (Nautica and BCBG brand both $8.50)
  • Two children’s face masks

My Biggest Steals:

For an average of $3.55 per item, everything was a steal, but my favorites were a brand new BCBG 2pc set for $8.50, which usually retails for $39.00, and a like-new Nautica 2pc set for $8.50 that retails new for $55!

Seriously. You can save HUGE and because each item has been hand-selected for style and condition, you know you’re sure to find great pieces!

How it Works

If, like me, you often find yourself with bins of clothes that could easily be loved by someone else and empty dresser drawers and closets, pack it all up and plan a trip to Once Upon a Child to sell and buy some “new” stuff for those growing kids!

Simply bring in your items (no appointment necessary), the employees will review your items using their store standards and policies while you browse, and then they offer you cash on the spot! You can accept cash money, store credit, or they LOVE to trade when you sell your items. Trading with them offers even more savings because you won’t have to pay sales tax on your items up to the amount they offer you!

What They Buy:

  • Clothing sizes preemie to 18/20
  • Footwear
  • Toys, puzzles, and books
  • Baby gear
  • Specialty items like Halloween costumes, dance shoes, and leotards, and boutique clothing

I’ve sold to Once Upon a Child many times in the past (one time receiving over $100 for my kids’ used clothes). The process is quick and easy but be sure to be organized and follow some basic rules for an easy experience.

Tips For Selling Your Stuff

  1. Pack your gently used items in bins, a box, or laundry basket (which is easiest to carry), and your container is returned to you! They prefer you not to use paper or plastic bags as they can easily rip and could spill over and your items could get mixed with someone else’s.
  2. Clothing should be clean, of current style, and free from wear or stains. Lay them flat in your bin and if you have 2pc outfits, be sure to place them together.
  3. Toys, equipment, or furniture should include all the original parts and be in clean, good working condition.
  4. Be aware that Once Upon a Child cannot accept car seats, used bathtubs, recalled items, or products that don’t meet current Government Safety Standards.
  5. They purchase ALL SEASONS all year long.

For more details on how and what to sell, visit their site.

More Ways To Save

Be sure to join their email club and their text rewards club and follow them on social to get a heads up on promotions and sales. Personally, I saw on social media that they’d recently received a shipment of children’s face masks, which I’ve been in search of locally, so I added those to my shopping list.

The New Moms Club

If you’re a new mom or an expecting mom, you need to join their New Moms Club! Each month, up to 12 months, you’ll be eligible to snag a free item to help you stock up for baby! July’s free item was a pair of pants size 0-12mo. Just pop into your nearest location and ask to sign up. It’s that easy!

As parents, we try to stretch our budgets, but growing kids and pricey department stores can make it hard when it comes to keeping kids dressed well. Do your wallet and your storage space a favor and plan a trip to Once Upon a Child to sell, buy, trade, and SAVE!

You can thank me later!

Connect with Once Upon A Child!

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Karla Ciokiewicz
Hello! My name is Karla Ciokiewicz (bonus points if you can pronounce it). I'm a mom of two girls under two and a wife to my awesome husband Lee. My husband and I moved to Charleston from Indiana after we married in 2016 by orders of the United States Air Force. Since we've been in Charleston we bought our first home, welcomed our two beautiful girls into the world, made lots of new friends and are enjoying everything about the area...except the bugs! To say our life has been busy since we said our I Do's would be a huge understatement, but we are loving the crazy family life we're building together. As a mom of two small children free time is hard to come by, but when I'm not busy wiping up messes, noses or bottoms you can find me at the nearest craft store looking for projects to add to my "to be completed" stockpile

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