The expense of buying clothes and shoes for the entire family can really add up. And it doesn’t help that kids sometimes outgrow their clothes and shoes in a matter of months. Yet these are essential expenses, so it’s best to take steps to shop smart and figure out how to get all of the accessories and clothing items your family may need without breaking the bank. We’re going to outline several tips and tricks you can use to get quality clothing for your little ones for less money.
- Find Coupon Opportunities
Very few people believe in paying full retail prices, especially when it comes to children’s clothing. Do $600 designer jackets for toddlers exist? Yes. But do most people buy that type of merchandise? No. Sure, that’s an extreme example. But you can still avoid paying full price at your favorite children’s fashion retailers. Instead, when you’re out and about, check your smartphone for coupon opportunities. If you shop at specific stores, you can usually download an app from the retailer and find coupon opportunities. In addition, they often run digital coupon discounts that you can take advantage of or plan your shopping trip around.
- Plan to Hand Your Clothing Down
Some people mistakenly think that being machine-washable means that their children’s clothing is indestructible. However, this isn’t the case. Treating all of your wash like it’s indestructible and not caring for it correctly is a quick way to wear it out very fast. As best as possible, read all of your kids’ clothing tags and see how the manufacturer recommends you wash them. If it’s possible, wash the clothes on the gentle cycle using cool water, and try to line-dry them or tumble dry. This is less stressful on the clothing. The motivation for this can be hard to find sometimes, but as a rule of thumb, treat most of your children’s clothes and shoes like you’re planning to hand them down to another child. You’ll often find that parents who hand down clothes quickly become the recipients of other families who are ready to hand down clothes.
- Shop Online Retailers or Discount Clothing Sites
There are several sites where people can easily list the items from their closet to sell if it’s in good condition – yes, even children’s clothes. But, again, if you shop smart, you typically find brand new children’s clothes and shoes at deeply discounted prices. Everything from baby girl headbands to tween swimwear is available online, often for less than in stores. As a bonus, the seller will usually include the shipping costs in the price, and you can easily purchase several things from one seller and have them shipped right to your door. Most retailers also have an online presence now, and a lot of them offer online-only sales and discounts for customers.
- Buy Clothing Out of Season
Often, retailers will have to put out-of-season clothing on the clearance rack to try and sell it quickly to make room for new stock. So, this could mean that you end up buying a swimsuit for your 4-year-old in October or November and a winter coat for your teen in April or May, but the savings can add up. Of course, this may leave a lot up to chance sometimes, especially if your child has more of a growth spurt than you had anticipated, but in the long run the savings can make it well worth it.
- Shop Thrift Stores
Thrift stores have a bad reputation, but whether you’re shopping for children’s clothes or a little something for yourself, you can find great clothing for pennies on the dollar compared to what you’d spend with retail. As a bonus, thrift stores can stock everything from outfits to toys. It’s a one-stop-shop where you can easily outfit the entire family, even fast-growing kids who seem to need new pants or shoes every other month. You can even find name-brand clothing here in excellent shape.
- Stick to Simple Wardrobe Staples
It’s hard to pass up kids’ tees and other items when they have a cute design or graphic. But you could easily spend thousands of dollars each year trying to keep up with all of the pop culture tees, only to figure out that your child no longer loves Baby Yoda or The Avengers. Instead, save money by sticking to basic pieces and classic styles that never go out of fashion. Save graphic tees for special occasions.
- Treat Shopping for Clothing Like Grocery Shopping
Many people won’t go into the grocery store without making a list. However, these same people blindly run into a clothing store with cash in hand and no real direction. This is wrong because it can lead to buying unnecessary stuff. So, the next time you go clothes shopping for your little ones, you should make a list of what you need and stick to only buying things on the list.
Shopping for kids’ clothing doesn’t have to be a complicated, expensive, and drawn-out process you dread. Instead, it should be something you can do quickly without worrying about breaking the bank. The tips we touched on can help you fill out your childrens’ wardrobe while saving money each time you go.