Well, it’s happened (at least where we live). Mother nature, the supreme bitch, has given us the first blizzard of the season. And it’s reminded us of a tip we need to share.  If you find yourself searching through boxes for little Johnny’s winter gear: the oh-so-adorable toggle-button wool coat and super-duper-thermal-spectacular-quadraphonic snow boots. But Johnny’s getting big, and the gear doesn’t fit. And a sinking pit is growing in your stomach because this stuff wasn’t cheap, and now you have to invest all over again.

Head over to your local kiddie consignment shop.

This time of year mamas everywhere are rooting through closets for mukluks and tiny parkas, only to discover gear that no longer fits their kiddos. This means hefty donations to the thrift store, which you smart b’s can capitalize on by giving and getting.

We spotted some very cute leopard-spotted mini Uggs for ten bucks—barely worn. Brand-name snowpants for five bucks. Our favorite find? A sweat shirt that says LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS, which naturally we snagged for a criminally cute toddler friend.

We also found sleds parked out front like a used car lot—plastic saucers, steel-runnered racers, and one family-friendly toboggan that could easily accommodate the Jolie-Pitts. Fraction of the price of new.

Regularly bring in your own pile of outgrown stuff. Be vigilant, and you can practically trade up, no cash exchanged, when a February growth spurt makes Junior’s snowpants look like clamdiggers.

So green and cheap, it warms our hearts.

*Read our article in the Huffington Post about Snow and Play and let us know what you think!