Before you know it, your kids have outgrown their clothes. Hand-me-downs can work to an extent, but there just comes a time when you need to buy more clothes. How can you save on this significant expense? Here are some tips on how to save money on kids' clothes.
The Great American Yard Sale
During the late spring, summer, and early fall, you can make it a habit to go "yard sale-ing" on weekends. If you like, make a list of needed items and take it with you, and scan your newspaper for upcoming yard sales so that you can save on gas (it's fun just to drive around neighborhoods looking, but that does use fuel).
Yard sales are a great place to get those "play clothes" that parents always need - clothes that kids can get dirty and not worry about staining. You can get some really nice clothes at yard sales, too.
Many communities have consignment sales and shops. Consider donating to these sales and shops to make a little money on the side and get a discount at the sale/store. And of course, shopping at these events and stores can save you a bundle.
They'll Grow into It
While you're scavenging these great sales, you are probably going to run across clothes that are not the current size or season for your child. But if it's too big and out of season, your child can grow into it and it will fit the following summer, spring, winter, or whenever. Think about what size your child is likely to be then.
For instance, if you're at a yard sale in July with your 4-year old who wears a 4T, and you find a winter coat that's a size 5T or even a 6/7, go ahead and buy it. If your child doesn't grow into it, consider re-selling it on eBay.
Store Credit Cards
For those times when you do shop at a store and buy new clothes, using the store credit card can give you a discount. Also, being a card-carrier means that the store will let you know about sales and probably send you coupons and special offers.
If you can sew and have a sewing machine, consider making your kids' clothes (or at least some of them). Before kids care about brand names, and when they're growing like crazy, you can save a lot by making their clothes.
Another way to use those sewing skills is in repairing damaged clothes. Patching, stitching tears, and other repairs may take very little time but they will save you the time and money involved in buying a new piece of clothing.