Cheap doesn’t have to mean shabby!
Cutting costs on clothing for your children doesn’t mean that your kids can’t enjoy nice, clean, and up-to-date clothes. It just means that you’re not paying full price store tags for clothing that your child will grow out of in a blink of an eye! Here are some tips and tricks from a few savvy shoppers:
Check out Thrift Stores and Consignment Shops
- Look for outfits that have strong seams with no fraying or separation.
- Check to make sure all zippers and snaps work. Buttons can easily be replaced if the rest of the item is in good quality.
- Buy shirts and pants in colors that complement many others so they can be worn often. Black or brown pants and blue jeans are versatile must-haves.
- Pants with elastic in the waist can last for months after non-elastic pants are too tight, saving you even more money. When shopping at a thrift store, make sure the elastic is still in good condition and stretches easily.
- If you have a toddler who could fit in a larger size without the outfit being too baggy, opt up. He or she won’t know the difference, and you’ll get more months of wear before having to shop again.
- Most thrift stores have designated days of the week that cut costs even lower for their clothing. Look up your local stores to find out when their 50, 60, or 70 percent off days are.
Gleaning… (Otherwise Known As Online Clothes Swapping)
- Each of these sites allows mothers to sign up for free and access hundreds of gently used clothes and products swapped or sold by other mothers from around the country.
- Depending on the site, you may only have to pay the cost of shipping.
- These sites are also great platforms on which to post your own clothes or products you are not in need of to trade or sell.
- Like clearance racks in stores, these online sites are great places to snag winter coats and clothing during off seasons for cheap as families partake in spring-cleaning their closets. Buy a few sizes up, and come wintertime, your little one will be prepared to face the cold.
- Sites such as Freecycle.com and Reuse It Network are also good sources for clothing. Membership is free, and members can post items they need and items they would like to pass along.
- Facebook groups may be in your area that swap or trade kids’ clothing.
- On Facebook, simply search for groups in your local area using a combination of keywords such as sell, trade, maternity, infant, toddler, “mommy swap,” “swap and sell,” “baby swap,” “yard sale,” and so on.
- The online site Meetup.com allows users to search for groups in their surrounding area to join.
Not everyone feels comfortable buying, swapping, or trading clothes from strangers. Luckily, most people know friends and family in their communities who have had kids. Invite your friends, neighbors, family, and colleagues to bring as many clothing items or baby gear as they wish to swap.
Clip Those Coupons and Work Those Loyalty Points
- Some stores offer you a discount on their clothing if you sign up for a store credit card. Most places let you swipe with the card and then pay off the balance right at the register. You don’t have to worry about buying something you can’t afford if you make yourself pay off the balance at the time of purchase with the money you have.
- Sign up for your favorite clothing stores’ emails. Most times, they will send monthly coupons right to your inbox.
- Swagbucks.com and Ebates.com provide thousands of coupons and deals and allow you to earn cash back for your purchases.
- Find retailers that will reward your purchase with money off a future purchase.
- During the summer months, look up in your local newspaper or city’s Facebook page for garage and yard sales that are happening around your area.
- Some cities do “yard sale weekends” where numerous families set up yard sales all over the city and everyone comes out to browse the items.
It can take a little time to figure out a routine for shopping for kids’ clothes. It seems as if they are constantly growing—because they are! Remember, less is more, and kids don’t need quite as much as adults do in their wardrobe because they often change sizes with the season.