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Monday, May 23, 2016

How to Save Money on Clothing for Kids

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We have all been there, your child needs to get dressed and you discover that nothing in their drawers or closet fits them anymore.
I swear this happens to us on a monthly basis.
No joke.
Before you go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, do yourself a favor and be prepared by doing a little research and preparation first.
I mean you already know it's going to happen, why not get the most for your money??
Here are some tips and tricks I've learned when it comes to keeping my kids clothed without breaking the bank!

1. Consignment and thrifting
Don't be afraid of gently used clothes people!
The nice thing about kids clothing is it might not get a chance to be worn very often, the child might grow out of something before they really have a chance to wear it, when this happens it either gets donated somewhere or sold to a used clothing store or even sold at yard sales.
Now I'll be honest, this option does tend to be a little time consuming.
You may have to pick through a lot to find what you want, but it may be very well worth it.
Just a few weeks ago I was looking in my son's drawer and noticed he only had 1 pair of basketball shorts that still fit him so off to the local consignment store we went.
After a little searching and picking we walked out of there with 3 {almost brand new} pairs of basketball shorts that cost me $2 each. Score!

2. Hand-me downs
If you know you will be having more children do yourself a favor and wash, fold, and store away outgrown clothing to have on hand for your next one.
I have a little rotation system for my 3 boys that goes like this:
Each one of my boys has a cardboard box in their closet, it's pretty good size, and it's tucked away kind of in the back so it's not in the way. As soon as we realize something is too small we throw it in laundry and once it's cleaned we fold it up and put it into the cardboard box in their closet.
When the box is full it either goes downstairs to wait for the next child to grow into those clothes, or if the next child is close to that size it gets unpacked and the clothes are placed on the top shelf in their closet, or in their drawers if they need them right away.
You can also 'clothing share' with family members.
If your child has a cousin outgrowing clothes, check with their parents to see what their plans are for those clothes.
When my oldest was born my brother and his wife had a little boy who was already 2. They had a lot of clothes that were in really good condition that hadn't been worn very much, and we ended up being in the fortunate position of receiving those clothes for our little guy.

3. Clearance sales
Ahh these make me happy.
At the end of every season stores will slash prices on items to clear them out to make room for new inventory.
Plan ahead for the next year by buying clothes your child will grow into.
Say you have a 2 year old this summer. If your 2 year old is wearing a 2T size throughout the summer you can make a pretty safe bet that they will be in the next size up the next year, you can go to the store during a sale and stock up on some summer clothes that are 3T for the next year.
I only do this if it's a REALLY good deal because you will need to have a place to store the clothes until your child grows into them. (Top shelves in their closets are usually the best place to have the next size of clothes stored in so they're ready to grab when your child has their growth spurt). I've gotten lots of clothes this way for anywhere from $0.97 - $2.00 for each piece.
You don't even have to only get clothes for the next year, sometimes stores will clearance out clothes that your child can still wear right then and there and you can snatch up some good pieces that way.
I was actually at Old Navy a few weeks ago and found an athletic jacket for my son on clearance for $0.97, after I used some rewards I ended up paying $0.33 for it, and it's one of his favorite jackets perfect for this spring-type weather.

4. Rewards cards/points
This way will take a little bit of patience/waiting but oh so worth it!
If you have a favorite store you like to buy your child's clothes at, see if they have any rewards programs available.
For us it's Old Navy. (And no, I am not receiving any compensation for saying this, we really do shop there and use this method...a lot!)
I really like their clothes for my boys. They've got a lot of cute options, and I feel like the clothes get a lot of wear out of them.
A few years ago I opened an Old Navy credit card.
For every dollar I spend, outside their brand I receive 1 point, if I make a purchase in their brand I receive 5 points/dollar spent. When I reach 500 points I get $5 to spend at Old Navy (or Gap, or their other associated stores).
Some months they'll even run a promotion where you get 5x the points, they'll send an email to let you know when this is happening.
The best way I work this method is to buy my groceries every month with my Old Navy credit card. I'm already planning on spending that money and I know about how much I am going to spend, so when I check my bank account I take the 'grocery amount' on my credit card into consideration so I know where I'm at.
Does that make sense??
 At the end of each month I pay off the Old Navy credit card in full so I'm never charged any fees or interest, then I just let the points add up. Old Navy has big sales on a regular basis, along with extra discounts for cardholders, so I save up my rewards dollars and wait for a sale.
Then I take my kids shopping :)
I try to spend only what I have in rewards to keep my costs down, so for example:
If I get $25 in rewards and Old Navy is having a 40% off sale I will try to get enough items to add up to $40. Because, 40% off of $40 is $16, so $40 - $16 = $26 and then I use my $25 in rewards so
$26 - $25 = $1
So I would end up only paying the $1...does that all make sense?

I hope some of these tips were helpful!
Have you tried any of these out for yourself?
Do you have any tips or tricks of your own to add?


  1. I've been thinking about getting a credit card that gets me points towards something I can actually use. Thanks for the info about Old Navy!

  2. These are all really great tips! I was so lucky because a good friend of mine had a little girl a couple years before I had mine and she gave me all kinds of hand me downs! Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas at Share The Wealth Sunday!

  3. My church has a crazy huge consignment sale twice a year. When my kids were little, I bought a lot of their clothes there. Back when I was an Ebay seller, they had a big sale 20% off everything you could get in a bag. I took all the clothing and rolled it up very tightly and squeezed like 50 tops into that bag. It was a stretchy bag, so I streeetched it out and it even counted if you got part of a sleeve in there. All the sales clerks had to come over and see how much I managed to get in that darn bag! I added this to our Fun Family Friday linky - it's a great post.

    1. Ha ha I love your methods, very clever! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!


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