Kids go through clothes like boxes of Cheerios. We say: Don’t spend a lot of money on play wear and school clothes. By the time kids wear them or use them once or twice, who can tell if they’re new or used anyway?
You can find some kids’ clothes in excellent condition at thrift stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift stores. Call your local store and ask if they have a special discount day that includes children’s clothing. You could save up to 50% per item, bringing your cost down even more. Look for “one-time wear” items, like Halloween costumes or a party dresses.
Garage and yard sales pop up in the warm weather months. Parents clean out the closets and get ready for summer, knowing the kids won’t fit into those sweaters and jeans by the time school is in session. This is a great time to find gently worn children’s clothing and outerwear that will fit perfectly in the fall months.
Also look at consignment stores. Some specialize in children’s clothing. You can find quality clothes (some with the tags still on them) for a fraction of what they cost at Macy’s or Sears. Yes, sizes might be limited but you could get lucky and find just the right dress for next Christmas or Easter. Worn once or twice, you can take it back to the consignment store later and make part of your money back. You also can take your barely worn kids’ clothes to consignment shops to sell, to help defray the cost of dressing your youngsters. (Buying and selling at the big consignment sales is also an option in major cities.)
Check out the sale racks at the big department stores or outlet shops right after the season is over for 70% to 80% off original prices. And Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshall’s always have decent deals, often on name labels.
LOTC tip: When buying new or gently used clothing, check the laundry label to make sure the items are machine washable. If possible, have your kids try on the clothing — it may be the item was discarded because it shank.
For more tips on saving money on children’s clothing, visit our sister site, Living on the Cheap.