With three boys in the house, we outgrow clothing pretty quickly. Sometimes it seems like my boys grow overnight!
It’s hard for me to deal with the rapid growth because I rarely buy myself new clothing… in fact, most of my wardrobe is more than 5 years old. (gasp!)
So, believe me when I say that I have done my homework on how to save money on kids’ clothing!
Accept hand-me-downs. Do you have a sister, friend, cousin, friend-of-friend with kids just slightly older than yours? Chances are they’re looking to clear their house of clutter, so ask them if you can help take some clothing off their hands. Return the favor by passing on your kids’ things and you’ll create some good kharma.
Be sure to check out Freecycle. Freecycle is a great resource for finding kids clothing. You can post what you’re looking for as well as what you want to giveaway. I’ve seen people giving away giant bags of clothing, snowsuits, etc. Craigslist is another source to visit.
Take a look at Freepeats. I live too far away from any cities that have this, but if you live in a metro area (like Minneapolis, hint hint), check out Freepeats. It’s similar to freecycle but only for baby and kid stuff. There is a $4.95 one-time fee, but you’ll more than make up for that in savings!
Thrift stores and consignment stores are fabulous places to find gently used clothing. These stores also have sales – find out the sales cycle to save even more! And if you have some gently-used clothing to get rid of, you may want to try selling clothes on consignment.
Garage sales can also be great sources for kids clothing. It can be a little time consuming, but if you enjoy garage sales, this won’t be a chore.
Some people are weird about wearing used clothing. If that’s your case, here are some places you can find good prices on quality clothing:
Kidsurplus.com. I’ve had especially good luck finding shoes here, since one of my sons has very short, very wide feet. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for hard-to-find items.
Lands End Overstock. I don’t normally think of Lands End as a discount place, but sometimes you can get really great deals… like super toasty gloves for $4 and high quality kids’ sweatshirts for $5. This is also a good place to look for end-of-season clearance.
Kohls. Once again, watch the sales. Many of the sales in stores are also available on line. So you can find great deals without leaving the house. Sign up for their e-mail lists for online coupons.
If you are shopping online, be sure to use these tools to save money.
And most importantly, here are the best ways to save on kids clothing:
Keep an inventory of what you have and what you’ll need.
Watch the end-of-season clearances and stock up when you see a sale.
Take good care of what your kids wear. Keep on top of stains and tears, and make your kids clothes last longer.
Buy the best quality you can afford. You’re not being frugal if you have to keep replacing cheap clothing.