In my last post I wrote about how to score toys on the cheap. I touched on getting great deals on clothes too, so I thought I would elaborate some here. Same as before I'll talk about new and used clothes.
First new clothes. Kids go through clothes unbelievably fast, especially if you have giant children like I do that grow alarmingly fast, Z was in 2T by his first birthday, and it looks like his brother is definitely following in his ENORMOUS footsteps. Repeat after me "I will never, ever, ever, pay full price for kids clothes".
There is no reason to! Buying ahead and stocking up is the easiest, most money saving way to go. Especially after your kiddo starts growing more predictably and you can take an educated guess as to what size they will be in for the next year. Every year I try to pay attention to when the stores are having their "end-of-season" sales and stock up majorly then. Especially since the national chain stores seem to think the end of summer is in August, bwahahahahaha, ahem, excuse me, it's just that it's Sept 23rd and it's supposed to be 105 today here, yet there are sweaters for sale in the stores.
Last month I stocked up on shorts for Zach for next summer. My 4 year old giant is easily in size 5 now, so I picked up some size 6 shorts from my favorite store for him, Children's Place. I paid under $6 each for nice cargo shorts for him that are regularly the astronomical price of $17, I shopped their sale, don't forget to look online if you can't find what you want in-store! Children's Place in particular regularly offers free shipping on any order, so I always check their site then, PLUS you add on a 20% off coupon, which if you sign up for their mailing list you will always have on hand. Gymboree works very similarly, and you can always find one of their coupons in a magazine geared towards parents, although their clothes tend to be more expensive to begin with, although sometimes better quality, so it's a judgement call there. Kohl's is also one of my very favorite stores for shopping for the boys. I scored CRAZY deals shopping end-of-season sales there for Gavin. We re-use as many clothes as possible from Zach, but Gavin prefers to be in footie jammies year-round where Zach wanted to sleep in as few clothes as possible, so there are a few things we have to get for him. I found Carter's footie jammies for $5 each at Kohl's, add on a 30%off coupon and I got jammies for Gavin for $3.50. Kohl's also regularly runs promotions to get Kohl's cash, for every $50 you spend, you get $10 in Kohl's cash. A gimmick for sure, but not if you know how to use it. Say for instance, I spend $50 stocking up on an end-of-season sale for stuff for the boys. I get $10 in Kohl's cash, Zach needs new shoes for his rapidly expanding feet. I take my $10 in Kohl's cash, my 30% off coupon, and score new Nike shoes for Zach for under $15.
And just like I said for toys, ALWAYS check the clearance racks, even if you're not looking for something specific, check a size or two up from where your kids are now and get stuff super cheap to put away in a box in their closets to use for next year, or even the next! Zach has a bin of next size clothes in his closet, when he starts growing out of the ones he's wearing I put those away for G and pull out the next size up from the box.
And that's just NEW clothes. Same as for toys, if you're ok with used clothes you can save a bundle too! Hit the garage sales in the fancy pants neighborhoods and score awesome, barely worn clothes for super cheap. I have scored Gymboree and baby Gap with the tags on for $1 or less each. Ask your friends with older kids to tell you before they have a yard sale so you can go through their stuff! Check out the used kid stuff stores, again you can find great deals for like-new stuff, it will be more than a yard sale but not as much as new. Just make sure you keep in mind the price you can score on clearance to make sure you're getting a deal. Check Craigslist, and facebook, same as I recommended for toys.
What's your favorite way to save money on clothes?