Kids grow out of their clothes just about as soon as they put them on – and it seems the only thing that gets bigger faster is the price of new clothes for them! But when it comes to kids’ clothes, except for special occasions like birthdays and holidays, it’s really more about quantity than high-priced quality. So if you want to save big bucks – and you’re ready to think a bit outside the box – here are some clever, thrifty ideas for kids’ clothes.
Thrifty Ideas for Kids’ Clothes – Clearance and Closeout
When you go to a conventional department or non-discount chain store, always head for the clearance racks, for an assortment of kids’ clothes at far lower than the ticket price. Also pay attention to “buy one get one free” coupons and other money-saving offers the stores put out to get you in the door. Closeout stores are another excellent option for bargains on kids’ clothes. They’re often discontinued or last year’s styles, but they’re also about half of what they’d cost in a department store. Closeout stores can come in especially handy for baby gifts and you-can-never-have-too-many basics like 100% cotton “onesies” and pajamas.
Thrifty Ideas for Kids’ Clothes – Not Your Sister’s Hand-Me-Downs
Look at it from a “green” point of view and turn yesterday’s tacky hand-me-downs into today’s trendy recyclables. Instead of passing off clothes from one of your kids to the next (or your sister’s), have a kids’ clothing tradeoff with a group of friends. That way the clothes are, if not exactly new, then at least new to the family getting them! Make it more of a party atmosphere for you and the other moms and serve refreshments or have a potluck lunch. Schedule it as a seasonal event. Make sure everyone knows that the clothes should be washed beforehand and if size or gender are considerations.
Thrifty Ideas for Kids’ Clothes – Go Online
eBay is another good place to find kids’ clothes. More and more parents are selling either clothes their kids have grown out of or brand new things they never got a chance to wear, sometimes single items, other times in larger lots. When shopping on eBay, pay close attention to photos and descriptions, especially when clothes are pre-worn. Make sure that the seller has a good feedback reputation before you bid. Keep an eye on the shipping costs to ensure that the total price is still within your bargain budget.
Thrifty Ideas for Kids’ Clothes – Swap Meets and Garage Sales
Neighborhoods, churches, schools and other organizations often have seasonal flea markets or swap meets, and these are great opportunities to pick up kids’ clothes for hardly any money at all – many items, sometimes even brand new ones, are often priced at less than a dollar. That goes for garage sales as well. Better yet, even these low prices are often negotiable, especially if you’re buying a stack of stuff. Look in local classifieds and check the addresses of upcoming garage sales – if something’s going on in an area you recognize as upscale, that’s a good place to start … and at those bargain prices keep an eye out for an affordable treat for yourself as well!
Thrifty Ideas for Kids’ Clothes – Consignment and Thrift Stores
Local thrift and consignment stores also offer clothes for kids, but they can seem pricey when compared to other outlets for pre-worn clothing. (These stores have overhead to consider in addition to the funds often going to a charitable cause.) Check out end-of-month or fill-a-bag sales, where you’ll get more for your money.