Clothing children doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little planning, strategic shopping, and timing, you can be clothing your kids on the cheap in no time.
I have a 12 year old son and 5 year old daughter. Ever since they were both born, I have used many shopping tactics to save money on their clothing and stretch my budget. Kids grow out of clothes too fast to spend an arm and a leg outfitting them. At the same time, quality clothing holds up throughout the season and saves you money in the long run. With these tips, you can have the best of both worlds: quality and savings.
My Best Pointers for Shopping for Children’s Clothing
- Make a list. Taking the time to write out a list of which clothing items and sizes are needed for each child is a great investment of your time. Keep it with you for easy reference while out shopping.
- Go large. Buying larger sizes when you see them will enable you to reduce time that you will have to spend shopping in the future and allow you to take advantage of great prices (like end of season clearance).
- Weigh all of your options. Surveying prices at all of your options (multiple stores, brick and mortar, online, etc.) will allow you to make the best decision and maximize your clothing budget.
- Store for the future. Storing the clothing you buy ahead of time in plastic crates will have you ahead of the game when next season or next year arrives. Label the items by gender and size, with an inventory list attached to your container.
Where to Purchase Children’s Clothing
In the last 12 years, these are all of the places I have purchased clothing for my son and daughter.
- ThredUp, “an online consignment shop specializing in providing high quality like-new clothes at reliably low prices. Buyers save as much as 80% off new retail.”
- Once Upon a Child / Plato’s Closet (or other consignment store). My local Once Upon a Child has a sale in June and December, where you can get a large bag of clothing for $10. They also send sale announcements and coupons to people on their email list.
- Thrift stores – In my area, we have Goodwill, Rescue Mission Thrift Store, and some smaller charity thrift stores.
- Big box stores like Walmart, Kmart, or Target
- Discount shoe retailers like Shoe Carnival or Rack Room Shoes who offer “Buy 1 Get 1 50% off” promotions
- Children’s clothing chains like Children’s Place and others – They often offer 15% off coupon and some an additional 40% off
- Department stores – I love to shop their end of season sales. (I shop in February for Winter, May for Spring, August for Summer, and November for Fall to get the best prices.)
- Trading with others
- Asking others for their hand-me-downs
- Yard sales
- Ebay or other online sites
Price points for Children’s Clothing at Thrift Stores
I love to shop thrift stores for my kids’ clothing. All of the items are the same price, so I can buy the best brands available without having to spend more money.
This is what I like to pay for each item, depending on the thrift store.
- $1-3 per pair of shoes
- $2-3 for a pair of brand name jeans
- $1-2 for dresses
- $1-2 for shirts
- $1 or less per pair of pajamas
- $0.50-$1 for underclothing
- 3 pair/$1 for socks
Survey the prices in your area so you can make a “target price” list. This will help you tremendously while making your budget for the next season or next year.
Where do you shop to save the most on children’s clothing?