Kids grow like weeds. They are always needing new clothing and this can quickly get expensive since many children's items are almost as expensive as adult items. If money is tight then it is important that you learn how to save money on kids clothing. While you can't let them run around naked and you can't stop feeding them in the hopes that they will stop growing, there are a number of things that you can do to save money while still clothing your children.
Skip the Brands
Brand names can be high quality clothes and they can be “cool” or more fashionable, but they also come with a much higher price tag. By skipping the hottest brands are choosing something that costs less you can still get a great look and pay less.
If You Want Brands, Use the Tricks
If you really want the brands then there are several tricks you should use to make sure you are getting the best price possible. If you follow these various tips and tricks you will save a significant amount.
- Use Store Credit Cards – Stores often give deals, coupons back, store “cash”, and other deals for using their card. Some stores also give you a discount or a coupon for signing up. This is a great way to buy a lot of clothes and one time. The combine that with the other tips and tricks and you can walk away saving a bundle.
- Collect Coupons – When ever possible you should collect coupons. You can get many coupons by joining email clubs for your favorite stores.
- Shop the Sales – Sales and clearance racks are your friend. You can combine coupons with sales and clearance items and sometimes can even get these items free.
- Go at the End of the Season – If you are willing to buy clothes for winter at the start of spring or summer then you can save a lot of money because end of the season clearance can save you lots of money.
Another option is to shop discount stores. Depending on where you live you may have a lot of options in a few different ways. There are stores like Walmart, Target, and Mejier that offer a large selection. Stores like Dollar General and Family Dollar have a smaller selection, but still offer clothing at a great price. You can save even more money by shopping these stores when there are sales, clearance racks, or at the end of the season. Finally, there are stores that are there just to offer discounts such as Ross' Dress for Less and Marshalls.
Go Second Hand or Hand Me Down
While there is often a stigma surrounding second hand clothing and hand me downs, you can get a lot of great items this way. In fact, when they are young, they don't think twice about it. Also as they get older you can teach them about the benefits of buying clothing second hand. There are also lots of places that you can get second hand clothing.
- Gifts – Never say no if someone offers to give you clothing. Sometimes there will be stuff in there that doesn't fit, that is too worn to be worth it, or that you just couldn't ever put on your child. However, there are other times when you will get really great stuff from bags of clothing that have been passed around.
- Second Hand Stores – There are a lot of second hand stores out there. You will want to find all the different options in your area so you can learn where the best deals are and where the best clothing is found. Many of these places are charities that sell donated items. The money is then used to support the charity and to help out other people.
- Craigslist – You can find a lot of stuff on Craigslist as well. In many cases you can get a bag of clothing for a small price. You can also find individual prices available on many outfits, especially fancier ones.
- Ebay – Ebay is another place that you can snag up deals on outfits, single items, and best of all on lots of clothes.
- Freecycle – Freecyle is a program where you can get items that no one wants. You can join your local freecylce and take advantage of free clothing that people post that will fit your children.
- Friends and Family – Let your friends and family that have children who are a little older than yours that you could use the clothes if they are looking to give them away.
- Consignment Stores – Consignment stores are another option. They are at the bottom of the list because they are often more expensive than other stores. However, there are here, just in case. You may also have one in your area that has some great deals so they are always worth checking out.
Cut Down How Much You Buy
With the idea that your kids will either need new clothes because they have ruined the ones they have now or more likely, outgrown them you can make sure that you buy just the bare minimum. Figure out what they have to have and buy only a few items more than that. By cutting down on how much you buy you will get more use from the clothes that you do buy and you will spend less money.
Ask For Clothing For Birthdays and Holidays
You can also let people who buy gifts for the kids know that they need some clothing. You can even let them know if they need play clothes or nicer clothes. Many grandparents and aunts and uncles will enjoy picking out clothing or may give a gift card for older children to pick out their own clothing.
Join a Clothing Swap
In some places you can find a clothing swap group. This is where parents (usually moms) put their clothing into the swap and then they take what they need from those clothes that are put into the swap. This often works great if people in your clothing swap have kids near the same age, but a bit staggered in sizes.
There are some types of clothing that can be re-purposed as well. Boy clothing can easily be turned into girl clothing by adding beads, ribbons, and gems. Worn out pants can easily become shorts by cutting them off and giving them a new hem. Pants can also be turned into little girls skirts.
Sew Your Own Clothing
Sewing your own clothing can easily and quickly cost as much or more than many of these options. However, you can often find fabric, sheets, table clothes, and shower curtains on sale, at discount stores, and even at the second hand stores. These things come in a wide variety of colors, materials, and patterns. This allows you to save lots of money on fabric that you can then turn into clothing.
Starting with just a few of these things can start your way onto a whole lot of savings. Some of them won't work for you, but figure out which ones will and then go from there. As your kids grow you will want to include them in the hunt for their own clothing so that they can both be pleased with the results.