When the pants get too short and the shirts get too tight, you know it is time to invest in a whole new wardrobe for your kids. It can be a tough thing to swallow, spending lots of money on outfits that they will grow out of within a few short months. Things can get costly.
Parents on a tight budget should take note of some off the beaten path sources for great kids clothing that will have the kids looking chic while the parents save money.
1. The clearance racks
In July, you will find summer clothing marked from 50-70 percent off. In August, it will get marked down to 90 percent off. In October, all of the fall items will be deeply discounted, etc.. Shop accordingly, stocking up on the sizes that your child will need for the following year. This can mean the difference between spending $15 for a brand name character shirt or a mere $3.80 for the same item.
As soon as you enter a store, head toward the back and look for the discount signs, before you look at anything else.
2. Friends and family
Let friends and family that you are willing to take gently used outgrown clothing. People you know, know your kids, and they may have plenty of outfits that they would love to see get a new life on a favorite friend. If you are lucky, your might get a complete wardrobe for free.
No friends forthcoming with clothes? Offer to host an kids clothing swap where everyone can exchange items for free. It may encourage everyone to clean out the closets.
3. Consignment shops
Consignment shops can be a great source for higher-end quality children’s clothing that will hold up well and be in style. These shops are very picky about what they will accept in their store, so you know that anything you purchase will be a good, although inexpensive, investment.
Target kids consignment shops that are in nicer neighborhoods for the best selection and style.
4. Online stores with coupon codes
Never shop for kids clothing online without a coupon code. Otherwise you won’t get the best prices. Coupon codes can bring down the cost significantly, up to 50 percent. You may have to shop around a bit more, getting one or two pieces at a time, so look for free shipping as well.
When you spot a deal on something specific, such as a close-out on socks, pounce on it and use the coupon code to discount it even more. You’ll have to act quickly, since there are other savvy parents trying to do the same thing.
5. Yard sales
Yard sales often get a bad reputation, but they are a great source of children’s clothing at rock bottom prices. Because kids outgrow things so quickly, you can often find items that are brand new and still have the tags on them. The going rate for kids clothing at yard sales is $.50 to $1 an item, a little more for fancy dresses.
To get an even greater savings, ask if you could fill a shopping bag for $5 or $10. Most homeowners are just happy to get the extra stuff out of their house and will be willing to deal.