Whether it is the kickoff to summer or back-to-school season, your kids are going to need new clothes. And if you have only one child, this just meant more hours spent at the mall, picking through the adorable, pricey outfits. On the other hand, with more than one kid, you have had to be a lot smarter while shopping.
If you find yourself spending too much money on children’s clothes, there are a number of easy ways to cut back the expense:
Share the Basic Stuff
You won’t make your son wear a pair of Mary Janes, and your daughter doesn’t have to wear a Lightning McQueen shirt, but when it comes to the basics, they can and should definitely share. Snow pants, boots, gloves, hoodies, and jackets are all major purchases, and you surely will not like buying two sets of everything. Instead, always buy them in black or brown so they can be shared and passed down. These items can be pricey, and having to buy only one pair is a big financial relief.
Think Ahead of Time
Stores start closing out sweaters and other cold-weather gear when their spring stock comes in, but that doesn’t mean your winter season is over. Always look to shop end-of-season sales because they usually happen a month or two before your kids actually switch seasonal wardrobes. Buy seasonal clothes that are slightly large for your kid. They can wear a new item for a couple of months, and then it gets stored away for the next year and leaves the kids room to grow.
Kids’ clothing stores usually group their latest collections right at the front end of the store where you can easily see all of the different pieces together. It is what prompt you to buy the skirts, the top, the matching shoes, and even the cute hair clips all at the same time. But your child doesn’t really care if you buy every piece in the entire collection. If you really like a pair of pants, go ahead and buy them, but ignore the other items that are grouped with it. Sure, your kid would look adorable in that hat, but let’s face it: It’s completely unnecessary.
Head to the back of the store instead, where you will find clearance items for cheap. You will score extra savings when the store is doing a %off sale. Make sure that the discount applies to the clearance rack as well.
Swap with Friends
Use your resources to reduce the need to buy clothes from the store. You can organize a kids’ clothing swap in the same way you would an adult clothing swap: Tell all your friends to bring 5 to 10 pieces that are in great condition and approximately the same size, and you will end up with new additions to your child’s closet without actually spending a dime.
Shop Pre-owned Clothes
If the idea of buying someone else’s clothes is initially unappealing, look to start small. Check out local thrift stores and consignment shops to check for great deals on clean, gently used clothing basics. In general, purchasing “special occasion” clothing from a secondhand store is a smart idea, as your child probably will not need to wear her Easter dress more than a couple of times. Once you become more comfortable with buying secondhand clothes, you can branch out to buying shirts, pants, and other basics. Just be sure to wash these items thoroughly before adding them to your child’s wardrobe.
Buy Play Clothes
There is a big difference between summer play clothes and fall school clothes, namely, the quality and the price. When you know that your kids are going to be playing at the park, riding bikes, and heading to the beach, look for play-quality clothes for cheap. Look for deals that allow me to buy two or three shirts for around $10, or discounted graphic tees, sweatpants, flip-flops, and shorts.
If you know that up-coming back to school shopping spree is going to be huge, work to fund it without dipping into your savings. A smart way would be to take your child’s old clothes to a garage sale in your neighborhood. As long as the homeowner is okay with it, you can sell shirts, pants, and shoes that are in good condition for a few dollars apiece. You can also sell clothes online via sites like eBay. Once you have sold the unneeded/extra items, you can then take the money you have earned and put it toward buying new clothes for the season.
Check out Garage Sales
Well, if you think you can only snag toys and books at garage sales, you better think again. These garage sales can get great deals on kids’ clothes if you are a savvy shopper. If you want the best deals, do some research online by visiting some sites to get the better idea of how things work? As by visiting them, you can view details of the ongoing sale, as well as some of the featured items. You may also be able to contact the seller through that to see how many kids they have, as well as their genders. A family with one boy and one girl probably has clothes in great condition because they are not used as hand-me-downs. Doing your homework means you will get great deals on the best stuff.
Still stuck spending some cash on my kids’ wardrobes? Well, this could just be an “occupational hazard” of being a parent. However, you do not need to spend a ton to make sure your kids look great – as long as you get creative, bargains are easy to come by no matter how old your children are!