I know I’ve said it before, but my kids grow like crazy. It seems like they grow into another clothing size almost as fast as I get them outfitted in their current size. Yikes! Keeping our clothing budget low has almost turned into a full-time job for me.
Okay, I really don’t spend that much time finding inexpensive ways to clothe the kids. I just hate to spend a lot of money on things that the kids will only use for a short time. You may worry that finding affordable kids clothing isn’t easy, but the truth is that it really doesn’t take any more time than shopping in a department store.
Hand-me-downs are a mom’s best friend.
Don’t be bashful about accepting hand-me-down clothing from friends who have kids who are slightly older than your kids. After all, their kids probably didn’t wear those clothes out; you can get a lot of mileage out of slightly-used clothing. Just don’t forget to return the favor and pass your kids clothing down to someone else when they outgrow them.
Check out consignment stores.
If you can’t find the clothing your children need through hand-me-downs, consignment stores are always a great option. Again, these are gently-used clothes that are ready for a happy new home. Most consignment stores are really picky about what they will accept so you can rest assured that they have inspected the clothes really closely before selling them. Be sure to find out if you can bring your used things in for credit in the store. My teens really love Plato’s Closet – they can have their favorite styles/brands and I can enjoy the savings.
Shop carefully for new items.
There are some things that I do splurge and buy new. That doesn’t mean that I don’t pay attention to the price, though. For instance, if I am buying a new swimsuit for one of the kids, I wait until they are on sale. If I’m really thinking ahead, I purchase one at the end of the summer for next year and really save.
Buy basics and embellish.
Have you seen how expensive those cute baby jeans with embroidery on them are? I can’t stomach paying a ton of money for pants that fit a toddler, so I buy basic ones with almost nothing on them. Then, I can add embroidery, ribbon scraps, or even iron-ons to my heart’s content.