Our family has three little kids, and the cost of clothes for them can add up fast! Over the years, we’ve found ways to save lots of money on kid’s clothes.
Our kids are tough on clothes! They play in the dirt, color, paint, and can be messy eaters. Their favorite dinner is spaghetti and meatballs. Need I say more? Investing a lot of money in their wardrobes just doesn’t make sense.
We’ve found that when we spend less on their clothes, we don’t feel obligated to protect them and keep them perfect. When we spend little money on an outfit, it doesn’t matter so much if it gets ruined. Inexpensive clothes take the pressure off all of us.
Here are our best tips to save lots of money on kid’s clothes:
1. Shop kid’s consignment sales. Twice per year, in spring and fall, we shop kid’s consignment sales in our area. These sales last a few days and sell gently used kid’s clothing and toys. All items usually have to be free of stains and holes to be accepted. We find fantastic deals here. We often find two piece outfits for $1-2. I encourage everyone to check out sales in their area. Consignmentsalefinder.org is a great resource.
If there aren’t consignment sales in your area, buying used kid’s clothes at thrift stores, garage sales, and yard sales is another fantastic option. Buying used clothing not only saves money, but is better for the environment. I loved this article on Nerdwallet about the perks of buying used clothes.
It’s worth noting that there some kid’s clothing items I don’t usually buy used. We generally buy shoes, coats, and bathing suits new. This is just personal preference.
2. Buy off-season for the next year. For seasonal items, like swimsuits, coats, and boots, we shop online for deals in the off-season. The key is to wait until the weather shifts and no one in your area is wanting that item anymore. Don’t wait too long, though, because items might sell out or become unavailable. Last May, we bought heavy winter coats for all three kids for $3.99 each.
To buy ahead, you should have a good guess as to what size your kids will be the next season. Our kids have reliably moved up one size the last few years, so we are pretty confident in guessing their size for the next year.
3. Avoid white clothes. We had to learn the hard way that white clothes are a waste of money for our kids. We ruined quite a few white shirts and one pair of white leggings before I realized how easily they get stained, and how hard it is to remove those stains. I do not want to spend my time fighting stains on kid’s clothes. Now, we just don’t buy them. Clothes with darker colors or patterns last a lot longer.
4. Accept any and all hand-me-downs. This is an absolutely free way to get clothes, and often families are so happy to pass on their used stuff. When we were expecting twins, many people offered to bring us their used baby clothes. We were so grateful! We used so much of it and then passed it on to another family.
5. Buy versatile clothes, so you need to buy less. We try to buy clothes that have the most number of uses, instead of items that only have one use. Basics are the way to go.
Holiday themed-shirts are so cute, but once that holiday is over, they might not get worn as much. We also buy more short-sleeved shirts than long-sleeved because the short can be worn all year long. We try not to buy many fancy clothes for my kids because there’s not many places we wear them. A few nice outfits per child will suffice.
6. Less is best. Don’t overbuy! We have learned that we just don’t need a ton of outfits for a given season. Our kids, especially as they have gotten older, want to wear the same couple of outfits over and over. It’s also easier and faster for them to choose what to wear if there aren’t so many choices.
If you’re interested, I enjoyed this article in the New York Times on why kids fight getting dressed. Spoiler alert: One of the author’s tips for getting kids to cooperate is to offer only a few choices.
There are so many great ways to save money on kid’s clothes. This is just what works for us.
I’d love to hear how you save money clothing your kids! Leave a comment below.
Want more like this post? Check out “Our Families Top Tips to Saving Money on Groceries”
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