I want to talk to you about kids clothes. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how expensive kids are. That they can outgrow a couple of sizes in a single year only makes their costs that much more. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids more than life itself, but if I can provide for them while saving a few bucks, I’m all for it. As a mom of three, it’s vital to my budget. So, here’s my list of the top ways I save money on my kids’ clothes.
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New Kids Clothes
Buy out of season
I know this seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of moms don’t realize just how much they could be saving on their children’s clothing by buying them the year before. Of course, you run the risk of buying the wrong size, but usually, you can guesstimate what size your kid will be in the next time that season comes around.
I did have a year where my daughter skipped size 5 pants and went straight from size 4 to size 6. That wasn’t an issue during the summer since she could fit in size 5 shorts, just not long pants because they were too short. Since she couldn’t wear most of the clothes I’d gotten for winter, I sold them on eBay for more than I’d bought them on clearance for because they were in season. I made enough money to buy my daughter comparable clothes in size 6.
Every good store knows the value of coupons. They save the consumer money while allowing the store to sell more items than they probably would have with just a sale. If you don’t know where to find coupons for your store, visit their website. If you still don’t come up with anything, it might be that the store isn’t offering coupons right now, but you could also check websites like Retailmenot and Groupon.
I love shopping the outlet stores. My local store gives an extra 15% on Fridays, so that’s the only day I shop there. I’ll peruse the aisles sometimes just to find any additional discounts when I’m not looking for anything specific. I’ve asked them for their discount schedule multiple times, but apparently, they like keeping their customers on their toes because they cut prices at random.
I find the full price quite a bit better than most department stores, though. When I do find something discounted, it’s usually one of those deals that gets me all kinds of giddy. I bought the dress my daughter wore for Christmas last year during the summer for .95¢ after my 15% discount and before tax. That one brought a few butterflies to my stomach, and my wallet thanked me.
Used Kids Clothes
I remember when my second daughter was a little over a year old and had outgrown all the cute baby items I’d gotten from family and friends at her baby shower. I’d begun looking into buying used clothes, and while discussing this with my husband, his friend looked at me like I’d lost my mind. “You’re going to put used clothes on your baby,” he asked incredulously.
For just a fraction of a second, I questioned how I could possibly sully my child by placing used clothing on my beautiful little girl…and then the needle scratched across the record of insanity I’d been listening to, and I gave him my ‘yeah, -and-if-you’re-smart-you-won’t-say-another-negative-thing-about-it’ look. It must have worked because he zipped it and not another word was spoken.
The simple fact is that there aren’t any truly negative factors to buying used clothes for your children. You’re recycling, reducing the need for more products to be made, saving the unwanted items from landing in some dump somewhere, and saving money that could better be used for important things like groceries and the mortgage.
If you’ve never considered putting used clothes on your children, then I’d have to ask you what planet you’re from because it isn’t earth. Perhaps you’re so wealthy that you can afford to waste money so callously. If that’s the case, then I can only assume that you stumbled upon this blog by accident because you are definitely in the wrong place. As for the rest of you reading this cost-conscious post, here’s my list of the best ways to find good deals on used clothing for your kids.
I have a love/hate relationship with yard sales. Don’t get me wrong, I love them when I’m just looking for a good deal on pretty much anything and everything. Maybe it’s the universes sick joke but mark my words. The moment I start looking for something specific is when every yard sale in a fifty-mile radius won’t have it. Take something simple like an end table. How many of those have you seen at yard sales over the years? Yeah, too many to count. Yet, the moment I decide I need a new end table will be when they all inexplicably disappear.
The same goes for children’s clothes. It’s that rare yard sale that I come across that has quality clothes in my kids’ sizes for a great price. But when that does happen I’m in hog heaven. I’ll even buy clothes that are a size or two larger than what my kids are wearing if the price is right, and let’s face it, yard sales are the cheapest when it comes to clothes. But driving all around town to find a particular size only to strike out is grating on the nerves.
While thrift stores do have a wider selection of clothing, the prices have increased considerably over the last several years. At my local Goodwill store, women’s pants are $5.99 a pair. To me, that’s crazy when I can find them on sale for $10-$12 new. The only saving grace is their mid-week sales. During these sales, they will often have certain items discounted, making them much more affordable. Check with your local thrift store to find out if they do weekday deals and when, so you can save even more on your kids’ clothes.
Mom 2 Mom Consignment Sales
By far this is my favorite way of saving money on my children’s clothing. Not all of these types of sales are called Mom 2 Mom, but I use that name because I think it aptly explains the sale. These are large sales where any mom in the community can sell their kid’s clothes while other moms can buy them. The best part about Mom 2 Mom is that the moms who are selling the items get to choose the prices, making them usually more affordable than thrift stores or regular consignment stores. Our local sale is held at a children’s store that normally sells both new and consignment clothing. It’s a huge storefront, and during the sale, the racks are filled to the gills with kids clothes of every size.
Even better is that every Mom 2 Mom consignment sale that I’ve ever been to has a half-price day. Now, since the moms get to pick the price, they can also choose whether to allow their items to go at half-price or not, but most moms allow it. The half-price day is the last day of the sale, and most moms figure it’s better to sell their items that haven’t already sold at a discounted price than to not sell them at all.
This is an excellent way to offer up your children’s outgrown clothes for a profit and shop for the current sizes at the same time. Usually, these sales are held in the spring and the fall, and they only accept clothes that coincide with the seasons that follow the sale. Meaning that you won’t be able to find swimsuits during the fall/winter sale or parkas during the spring/summer sale. That also means that all the clothes are what you’re looking for at the time. Let’s face it. Unless you’re just looking for a smokin’ deal (see my previous comments on shopping out of season), you aren’t going to be shopping for winter clothes in the spring.
Since these sales only happen twice a year, you’re almost guaranteed to find rows of clothes in your kid’s sizes, and if you shop on the half-price day, you’ll get an even better deal. I personally like to go on the first day of the sale because there’s better selection and I can get any items I really need (Like jeans for my son who has a superpower of ripping the knees of every pair he owns by the second time he wears them.) And then I go to the half-price day to get the best deal on the rest of the clothes.
You can find out if there is a Mom 2 Mom sale in your city by googling it. I live in Mobile, Alabama and there is a separate Mom 2 Mom style sale in every major city within 200 miles (yes, I checked.) So, if you live in a small town, but there’s a larger city close by, the chances are that that larger city hosts a Mom 2 Mom style consignment sale a couple of times a year. You could also check with the fairgrounds (that’s where Pensacola hosts theirs) or local consignment stores.
Money Making Side Note.
If there isn’t a sale in your area, that would be an excellent money maker. The local sale takes 30% of the profits off the top, and instead of paying workers during the sale, they offer volunteers first go at the merchandise before it is available to the public. Since the sale only happens twice a year, that might be a good side business that wouldn’t take a lot of time except during the months of the sale.
While I buy the majority of my kids’ clothes from the Mom 2 Mom sale, I don’t buy all of my kids’ clothes used. I like spoiling my heathens as much as the next mom, but when your daughter sprouts an extra two inches in a year, buying everything new just isn’t in the budget. I’d love to hear about where people in other areas get their kids’ clothes for discount prices. Let me know.