Today’s Hint: How to Conserve Little (and Big) Socks

Though they’re tiny, cute little kid socks don’t come with tiny prices. Six packs of JazzyToes or Trumpette socks, for instance, can run about $25.

Unfortunately, the little socks seem even easier to lose than their bigger counterparts. In fact, in my experience, they often just disappear somewhere on the journey from the dresser to the washing machine and dryer.

This is why I employ a little sock conservation strategy that is today’s hint: Though I buy my daughter fancy socks, I only buy her a few styles. I buy the same six packs over and over, so my daughter’s sock collection is filled with multiple versions of the same socks. When one of her cute, but pricey, socks goes missing, I generally can still use its remaining partner. I just pair it with another matching sock.

IMG_2779Some parents go even further with this strategy and only buy their children one style of sock. As a mom  commenting on the Rookie Moms site wrote a few years ago: “I only buy one kind of sock for my son (boring white crew socks),” noting that with this strategy she’s “not left with all those, albeit cute, single socks that have somehow lost their mates.”

Blogger BrownThumbMama is also a fan of this approach, noting that her son has “one type of sock” so “if they get un-repairable holes . . .then I can repurpose or chuck the holey one without worrying about looking for its mate.” Elsewhere, a Mom commenting on ThriftyFun says she now buys one color of socks in the same size for all her children, varying the color by season.

Another advantage of this kind of limited-style-sock approach is that it makes sorting clean socks a cinch. And you can also employ this strategy for yourself as well.

So if you like this approach, which type of kid sock styles should you opt for?  Heather Flett over at Rookie Moms has some good recommendations for children of various ages (and like me, she likes Trumpette styles for the littlest feet).

To be sure, not every parent wants to child, let alone themselves, in just one – or a few – styles of socks. If you fall into that category, the good news is that there are other ways you can potentially conserve socks as well.

I love a hint my sister recently passed along from her mother-in-law to help save tiny socks: Use a mesh lingerie bag as your sock specific hamper and then toss the whole thing in the washing machine and dryer to clean the socks. The site Parent Hacks also advocates this method as does Adam Dachis of LifeHacker (he cleverly suggests using a pillow case if you don’t want to spend money on a mesh bag).

The bag should help keep the socks from getting lost in the washer and dryer twilight zone – just make sure to unroll and straighten out the socks before putting them in the bag, as Stacey at the blog I’m a Lazy Mom suggests. You can find more on this bag strategy here. Finally, another idea for conserving socks is to safety pin the socks together (Real Simple, for instance, suggests this approach), though you may end up just losing the whole pair.

What are your hints for avoiding lost little (and big) socks, and for saving money on tiny socks?


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  1. Meg D says

    Due to the collage nature of our daughter’s hand-me-down sock collection, I safety pin the pairs together before tossing them in the mesh bag (you can make your own for pennies). Just make sure that the bag doesn’t have a habit of opening in the wash. You can always safety pin the zipper shut for good measure.

  2. says

    We do this for my husband’s socks! He’s got a taste for pumas. When we first got together, I spent hours sorting his socks. I threatened to put snaps on them, like I do the baby socks (thanks for stopping by and commenting, btw!) so he chucked his old socks and picked up a few packs of identical socks. I love this method because you don’t end up with half a pair of useless socks, we just huck the holey ones!

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