Sometimes it seems like kids constantly need new clothes. For one thing, children obviously grow regularly. Therefore, they outgrow their clothes. Additionally, kids can be pretty hard on their clothes. No matter how well you care for them, they don’t last long. Moreover, kids often want to explore new styles as part of their changing identities. Clothes support that so sometimes we end up buying kids for clothes to help with that. But what if you have to purchase kids clothes on a tight budget? Here are ten tips:
1. Shop Used
There’s no reason that most children need brand new clothes. If you have the option to shop secondhand in your area, then do so. There are also secondhand kids clothes shopping options online. You can shop used for everyday items that kids will wear as long as they can. Furthermore, you can get good prices on special occasion items such as party dresses. Shopping used is also a good ethical choice.
2. Swap With Friends and Family
Clothing swaps are a great way to save money on clothes. They work particularly well when you know a lot of people with children of different ages. If you have friends or family members with children who are slightly older/larger than yours, then there’s a good chance that you can get good secondhand clothes from them for free. In exchange, you can swap your kids’ clothes out to someone who needs them. People do these swaps online or in person. If you’ve never done one, then it’s time to start. It’s one of the best ways to get affordable kids clothes.
3. Offer to Buy Friends’ Kids’ Clothes
Do you have a friend or someone close to you whose kids have terrific clothes? If so, put the feelers out there that you would love to buy some of those clothes when their kids outgrow them. This is such a smart way to purchase kids clothes on a tight budget. After all, your friends and acquaintances are often happy to give you a good price. Young children area often very excited to get to wear clothes they’ve admired on others. For kids who aren’t so excited about that, you can always purchase the clothes from friends they don’t know.
4. Shop Smart Out Of Season
You can get really good discounts on clothing at the end of the season. However, you have to be smart about this route. As an adult, it’s easy to buy a winter coat at the end of winter then plan to wear it the following year. However, since kids grow somewhat unpredictably, it’s not as easy with kids clothes. That said, you can get such good end-of-season clearance sales that sometimes it’s worth it. Some tips:
- Look for items that kids might still be able to wear for a few weeks before the season is up.
- Additionally, look for summer sales on items that they can layer to wear in fall and winter.
- Finally, try to predict your child’s size for the next season. Err on the side of buying larger than you expect.
5. Shop Stores Known For Affordable Kids’ Clothes
There are some stores where you can get good kids clothes at a low cost. If you’re shopping on a budget, it’s good to know those stores. For example, Good Kids Clothes recommends Old Navy, French Toast, The Children’s Place, OshKosh B’Gosh, Carters and Gymboree. Outlets and discount retailers are also good options.
Of course, you might have other options in your particular area. Where I grew up there was a swapmeet with regulars who sold brand new clothing at a low price. So find the places in your area where you can consistently purchase kids clothes on a tight budget.
6. Don’t Forget The Budget
We keep talking about how to purchase kids clothes on a tight budget. That last word is really the most important part. We can give you all of the tips in the world about shopping, but if you don’t have the budgeting part down, then you’re not as likely to succeed. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you budget. Make kids’ clothes a specific category within your budget. This allows you to plan accordingly so that you don’t end up putting kids’ clothes on a credit card. Don’t go into debt for kids’ clothes. Instead, plan ahead.
7. Buy Separates, Not Outfits
Money Crashers points out that stores entice you to buy more by dressing children-size mannequins in adorable outfits. However, your child doesn’t need that specific outfit. Instead, buy separate pieces. In fact, make it a point to buy separates that mix and match well with other separates. You want your children to get as much versatility out of their clothes as possible during the short period when they fit in them!
8. Cash Back Apps, Coupons, Etc.
Make sure that you use all of your smart money-saving tips when shopping for kids clothes. These include:
- Cash back apps and websites
- Seasonal deals and sales prices
- Shop with a rewards credit card but pay off the entire balance right away
- Use credit card rewards to buy gift cards which in turn you can spend at kids’ clothing stores
9. Make Some Of Your Kids Clothes
You don’t necessarily have to purchase kids clothes on a tight budget. Instead, you can make some of them yourself. If you have skills in sewing, crochet or other crafts, then you can often make items for your children. In particular, this is an affordable option for younger kids. They’re usually happy to have something made by their parents. And since they’re still small, the materials don’t cost much.
Parents with craft skills often particularly enjoy making special occasion clothes. These can cost so much bought in the store. Yet, handmade, they don’t cost much at all. As children get older, they might even take an interest in learning how to make their clothes with you. This can be a surprising bonding experience in some families.
Even if you don’t want to make your children’s clothes, it’s worth it to learn how to mend a few things. Kids’ clothes usually aren’t durable. However, you can get more wear out of them if you can mend them up.
10. Talk To Your Kids About Money
It’s not that you want to make your children feel badly about your tight budget. Instead, you want to start teaching them good money skills early on. Talking about money is crucial to their good financial education. So, don’t hesitate to have age-appropriate conversations about the need to purchase kids clothes on a tight budget. It’s okay to explain to them why they need to look at certain jeans or shoes that are less expensive than other brands. You never know; they might even come up with creative solutions of their own. The more you talk about this as a family, the easier it will be.
- 8 Economical Gifts You Can Give To Your Kids
- 15 Important Things Money Can’t Buy
- 20 Ways NOT To Teach Your Children About Money
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