You may buy the majority of your kids' clothes around back-to-school time, but if they grow anywhere as quickly as my son does, it's really a year-round job. With food, medical, and ancillary costs, kids don't come cheap, and if you're not careful, clothing purchases for kids can put a serious dent in your budget. However, with a little research and some creativity, you can find some very real ways to cut your costs. For six tips on how to save money when shopping for clothes for your kiddos, read on.
1. Know Where the Deals Are
Target, Walmart, and TJMaxx all offer cheap everyday prices for clothing, but you might actually be doing your budget a disservice by limiting yourself to a handful of discount retailers. Other stores like Kohl's and Gap have periodic 30%-off sales, and those reduced prices often beat the other outlets. Get yourself a Kohl's charge card and make your purchases on it, and you can qualify for even more discounts. If that 30% off applies to clearance clothing as well, you can really clean up. To receive general sale alerts, sign up for a deal-sharing website like FatWallet.
2. Buy at Garage Sales
Use Craigslist and the online classifieds section of your local newspaper to find garage sales near you. If a phone number is listed, call and ask if the inventory includes kids' clothes. Just do yourself a favour and exercise a little caution if you try talking down the seller—trying to save an extra quarter on a T-shirt may not be worth it. And be sure to bring cash—very few garage sales take any other form of payment.
3. Conduct or Participate in a Clothing Swap
If there are a lot of families in your neighborhood, reach out to them and organize a clothing swap. If you're connected with them on social media, the whole process can be a lot easier than you may think. Clean out your drawers and closets of those no-longer-needed clothes and see what you can score in a trade. If you don't have the time to set one up, check out the website Meetup for clothing swaps near you.
4. Buy the Right Size
To be shrewd when you make your clothing purchases, look for sizes that are just a bit bigger than your child currently wears. Don't go overboard, but if your kid is a six, buy a size seven instead. You just might be able to squeeze a few extra months out of a particular piece of clothing.
5. Shop Secondhand Stores
The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and even independent consignment and thrift shops are all great places to buy kids' clothes at a discount. Since children outgrow garments before too long, these clothes are often in excellent shape. Just give any item you're considering a thorough inspection—and snag it at an incredible discount from its original retail price.
Now that we know of the many ways to save on children's clothes, let me clue you in on one key tip when you actually go to make your purchases—take the kids with you. They're the ones wearing what you buy, so it's only fair to involve them in the process. Plus, it can cut down significantly on returns. If you've got a large family, shop with a few of the little ones at a time to make things a bit easier on yourself. In the end, it's always about what's best for you, your family, and your bank account.
What ways can you think of to save on kids' clothing?
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