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How To Shop For Kids’ Clothes On A Budget
When I start browsing for kids clothes, I cannot believe how much they can charge for such small pieces of fabric. With three kids, we are consistently cycling through different sizes and replacing items that are worn out. Because of this, I have made it my frugal mom mission to never pay retail prices for kids’ clothing. These are my tried and true tips to save money on kids clothes.
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1. Yard sales
Yard sales are where you will find the best deals on anything used, end of story. Most people that have yard sales are trying to get rid of everything they can within a day or two. Whatever is left, they donate. Since it’s so quick, it’s not uncommon to find kids clothes for $0.50 a piece, or fill the bag deals, especially at the end of the day! They might even start loading boxes of free clothes for you. True story!
2. Thrift Stores
If I can’t make it to yard sales, I visit the thrift store. They can be a real hit or miss since these shops typically receive their items on donation. Your luck often depends on the day, and whether you are shopping right behind someone that just wiped out what you needed.
Don’t be afraid to scour through the racks, and double check for stains, rips, and tears. Also, pay attention to whether an item is discolored. I have had good luck with daily clothes and formal boy items. I keep my eyes open for seasonal clothing as well.
Thrift stores aren’t on as tight of a time frame as yard sales. I usually pay about $1-$2 for shirts, and about $4 for pants when shopping for kids clothes, but it differs by the store and the size of the clothes. Expect to pay between $4-$10 for coats and such.
Related: How To Stockpile Kids Clothes Without Losing Your Mind
These are like vetted thrift shops. They buy the items off of regular people for a low price and then resell them. The stores in my area go through everything before they will accept it. There are also a few online stores, like Thredup and Swap.
You should expect higher quality items from these shops, but also higher prices. The prices are sometimes enough that I can do better with new items. If you are looking for high-end brands or something specific, this is a great way to get them for a good price.
My favorite items to look for are baby shoes for either gender and dresses. If you can, join the stores’ deal program to be alerted for seasonal sales and clearance! That is when you will really score great deals.
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Anytime I see clearance, I like to pull out my inventory checklist on my phone and make sure that we aren’t needing anything that is on the shelf. This alone has saved us tons of money. In true cheapskate spirit, I tend to only buy items that are 60% off or more.
My favorite stores to shop clearance at are JCPenney and Kmart. They often have coupons and promotions that make the deal even better.
Related: Frugal Shopping Tips That Will Help You Score The Best Deal
I have a long-standing relationship with JCPenney and for good reason. Most of the items I have bought new have come from here, and I dare say that same about my kids’ wardrobes. By stacking clearance and promotional coupons like their $10 off of $25, I can save even more. I typically score items anywhere from $3-$4 with sales or $.50-$3 for clearance. You just never know what you will find here!
6. The Children’s Place
I bet you didn’t expect to see a high-end mall store on the list, right? Well, this place runs some awesome sales and offers free shipping with no minimum. I have almost exclusively been buying jeans for my boys here with their $6.99 deal. I usually stock up in order to use a threshold coupon and drop the price to about $6.40 a pair. I also browse the $3 t-shirt sale when it comes around.
If you are only in need of a few items, ask a friend or two if they need some kids clothes so that you can all get some cheap kids’ clothes for the stockpile!
Every once in a while we are caught off guard with a crazy growth spurt, and we need something right away. No waiting for a sale!
I have had good luck at finding pants for my boys at Ross that are about $8. This is also where most of my second child’s pants come from because they have awesome deals on athletic suits. Jeans just don’t like to stay up on him, poor kid!
Related: How To Downsize Your Kids’ Clothes & Why Less Is More
How To Shop Smart for Kids Clothes
There are so many ways to save money on kids clothes. Now that you know where to shop for kids clothes, you can start planning ahead and avoid any surprises. By stockpiling and buying at the right time, you can cut the cost to basically nothing. Make sure to read about how I organize our clothing stockpile so that you can keep it all straight.