Guest post from Faith of Home Ec @ Home
It’s no secret that children outgrow their clothes quickly and need new clothes each season. This can get expensive. However, if you plan ahead you can save lots of money and build a quality wardrobe for your child at a fraction of the cost.
Shop the Clearance Racks:
Shop at the end of a season for clearance items that your child can wear the following year. (Fall and spring are great buying seasons when retailers are clearing out merchandise.)
Buy the next size up and store them for later. I drive out to the local outlet mall a couple of times a year and stock up on end of season clothes, shoes, coats, hats, mittens, etc. for the kids.
Utilize extra discounts and coupons at your favorite stores. I buy quality name brand clothes for my boys, but I never pay full price. I buy good quality because the clothes have to last for multiple children.
Sign up for the email or mailing list at your favorite stores so that you can get extra discounts and coupons. I receive email and print mail coupons and discounts at these stores and am able to get additional discounts off already clearanced items.
Online retailers also offer special discounts in addition to clearance prices. I only buy when I receive an email with an extra discount that I can apply to sale items and get free shipping. I shop past season reduced merchandise online too and stock up for the next year.
By using coupons and discounts, I am able to save an additional 20-50% off already reduced prices.
Another great option for outfitting children on a budget is buying used clothing. I buy a mix of new and used clothes for the boys.
I am very picky since the clothes are pre-owned. I am careful to check the clothing closely and make sure there are no stains, tears, fading, etc. I always check zippers and buttons to make sure they are functional too.
Consignment shops offer the convenience and availability of a large selection, but can be a little pricier. My local store offers clothing at around $3.00 to $8.00 per item.
I pay less for new clothes than most of the clothes in consignment shops. If you have items you no longer need and consign them, you can use your store credit to shop.
Thrift stores are more hit or miss in my opinion, but the prices are generally very good. If you like the challenge of searching to find those hidden gems, you can get some good deals on gently used clothing at thrift stores.
Stores in my area, price children’s clothing at $1.95 to $2.50 per item. I have found lots of great clothes for the boys at thrift stores.
I love garage sales and especially large sales hosted by churches or schools. The larger the sale, the more likely you are to find a large selection of great kids clothes.
I have found the best deals at yard sales on kids’ clothes. Usually items are $0.50 to a $1.00 and if you are purchasing several items, feel free to offer a smaller amount. More than likely, the seller will take your offer. If not, and you really want the items, you are still getting a good deal.
ThredUp is an online used clothing site. Prices are higher than thrift stores or yard sales, but the clothes are in great condition and you have the convenience of shopping online.
They also offer special promotions and discounts from time to time. And you can order a bag from their site and send in your gently used clothes for shopping credit. I just sent in my first bag. It was super easy and shipped free from my UPS store.
If you have family or friends with older children, you may be able to borrow or keep hand-me-downs.
We have a friend who organizes a free swap every year. She invites everyone in the group to drop off any unwanted kids items the week before the swap. She cleans out her garage and sets it up like a garage sale.
Then we have a potluck kids swap and everyone gets to shop for free while the kids play. We have been blessed with toys, clothes, a stroller, and a Stokke chair from the Free swap and passed on a few things we didn’t need anymore.
Do you have any other tips to build a wardrobe on a budget?
Faith Still is a former Home Economics teacher who stays home with her three beautiful boys and blogs at Home Ec @ Home.