Children go through clothes fast. When they are babies, they outgrow clothing so quickly, and as they get older, even if they don’t grow super fast, their clothes get worn out quicker than you probably want. Since clothing is a necessity, it can be quite the financial burden, especially as your family grows.
When we found out we were having Jack, I quickly started finding ways to get the most bang for our buck. We were both in college, working part-time jobs, and we didn’t have a lot of extra money. Fortunately, we have a lot of generous friends and family who gifted us with some cute clothes. But even with those gifts, we have been left to our own resources to provide him clothing since then (obviously.) Even though we are more well-off now, I still don’t love spending a ton on clothes. I feel like I’ve found some great ways to save on children’s clothes, so I thought I’d share those with all of you today!
1) Second Hand Stores
Most of the clothes that we have purchased for Jack have come from stores that buy and sell gently used children’s clothes, books, toys, and products. We love Once Upon a Child, which has stores across the country. They occasionally have $1 sales, where everything under 12 months is a dollar, and there were a bunch of other items for over 12 months that were a dollar. The clothing at these stores are usually in great condition, and we always are able to find good brands.
Do a quick Google store for similar stores in your area — another one that we’ve used is called Kid to Kid. I follow them all on Facebook, and I have subscribed to all their email lists. By doing this, I’m always up to date with the latest deals and promotions.
I have found some great online consignment shops. The first one is THREDUp. They have tons of gently used clothing (for women, men, children, etc.) for inexpensive prices. I’ve heard rave reviews about it – and you can get $20 off your first order there (no minimum!) Another great option is Swap.com. You can buy and sell gently use children’s clothing for a fraction of the price. It’s a great service!
2) Garage Sales
Garage sales are a great way to get some great deals on just about anything! Of course, not all garage sales are created equally, but if you are diligent, you can really find some steals. My friend, Anita, wrote a great post on how to successfully go to garage sales, and she shares some tips on how to get the best deals. You won’t always find what you are looking for, but they are definitely worth checking out!
3) Online Garage Sales
Most communities have some kind of Facebook yard or garage sale page. In Utah, I feel like there’s probably at least five for our town alone. These are definitely the “modern” equivalent to going to yard sales, but in many ways, a lot easier. People will post pictures of things they are selling, and then you can say if you are interested in buying it or not. We use these types of pages all the time, and I have scored some killer deals. Every day, I see multiple listings for baby clothes — individual items, as well as lots (which are basically a bunch of clothes being sold all together.)
If you don’t have a Facebook community page, ask friends to look out for good deals on theirs! My sister is always getting us cute clothes for Jack from ones near where she lives, as well as nickel auctions she goes to at church.
Craigslist is pretty similar to this, and most major cities have a Craigslist page. Just be careful when meeting up with anyone!
4) Less Expensive Brands/Stores
With how quickly kids grow out of their clothing, I think it’s a waste of money to spend tons on items. Of course, there are always exceptions, but for every day clothes, I’d rather spend a little bit less. While there are some brands that are just so darn cheap that they don’t last more than one or two washes, there are quality brands that are less expensive.
Ask other parents about what brands last the longest for them. You never know what you’ll find out! Expensive doesn’t always mean it will last longer than less expensive brands.
Another company I recently learned about is called Primary.com. They have TONS of inexpensive and cute clothes that are available in plain, fun colors. You can get $10 off your first order of $25 or more. I just made my first order (it was the only place I could find an orange onesie and orange pants for a reasonable price!)
5) Trade/Borrow From Friends or Family Members
I’m very lucky to have a lot of siblings and most of them had children before me! Because of that, they let us borrow a lot of their boy clothes. Most of them were taken care of really well, and we had a wide variety of clothing in different sizes for Jack.
Not everyone is willing to do this, but if you know anyone that is, it’s a great way to get clothing for the time you need it. I think this works better when it’s younger children clothes, since they don’t typically get as worn out (especially when they are newborn and not moving a lot!)
6) Follow Deal Sites
I should clarify – not all of the clothes we buy and use are used! I’m sure Jack has enough clothes to clothe about five other kids. I am always following my favorite deal sites (like Freebies2Deals) and finding amazing deals on new clothes from different children’s stores. I often get t-shirts for less than $3, shoes for less than $10, and pants for about $5, just by taking advantage of coupons and free shipping.
7) Buy “out of season clothes” for next year.
I’m really not a very fashionable person. I don’t care if I’m wearing something that’s last season, nor do I care if my child is dressed that way. Of course, I always like Jack to look cute, but you can still look cute in past season clothes. So, whenever a store puts all the “out-of-season” clothes on sale or clearance, buy them in the size your kid will probably be in next year! That way, you’ll have clothes all ready to go, and you’ll get them for a fraction of the price.
Click here to read about how many clothes do children really need.