Having four close-in-age boys should have made clothing shopping inexpensive. In theory what the oldest outgrows, the second oldest would wear, and so on. However, we have Mr. Orange who only will wear orange-coloured clothing, Mr. Messy who stains every shirt he owns, and Mr. Rip who makes every pair of pants look like they were worn by Robinson Crusoe. Then add in a 5th child, a daughter, and buying kids’ clothing on a shoestring budget is imperative for us!
Don’t Pass Up the Hand-Me-Downs! If you are lucky enough to receive good condition hand-me-downs from an older child, family member or friend, this is the economical route to go! You don’t have to keep all pieces passed to your child, just the ones that you like and will be used.
Hail Hail Resale! Have you tried places like Once Upon a Child or Value Village? Both sell discounted resale kids’ clothing. For the price that you would pay for one new child’s outfit, you can purchase an entire wardrobe!
Mom-to-Mom Sales: A great source of deals, Mom-to-Mom sales appear 2 to 4 times per year, depending on your region. If you love to hand-pick matching outfits for your child, then Mom-to-Mom sales are for you! These sales are a haven for fans of brand name clothing like Gymboree, the Gap, Old Navy and more. Plus, the bazaar-like ambience and excitement at the venue can’t be beat!
It’s Sew Easy! Have you ever tried your hand at making kids’ clothing? If you are handy with a sewing machine, why not save a ton of money? There are lots of easy (and free) clothing patterns available on the internet, and fabric can be purchased or upcycled from unused clothes or linens around your home. Check out the ever popular pillowcase dress, and you’ll be hooked!
Garage Sales: I have sung the praises of garage sales in a previous article here. Purchasing kids’ clothing from a garage sale has the advantage of being able to purchase an entire wardrobe in the same size and season (ie: summer, winter, etc). Moreover, you are likely to do very well on pricing. $1 for tops and $2 for long pants are the norm at such sales, though oftentimes a garage bag of kids’ clothing can be purchased for $5.
Freecycle Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Freecycle is in my estimate the best place to get
your kids’ clothing. Not only is the clothing FREE, but you are also helping keep it out of a landfill. And you can offer the clothing back on Freecycle when your child has outgrown the items!
You don’t have to look very far to buy (or make) great-looking kids’ clothing on a shoestring budget. Just follow these tips, and you won’t lose the shirt off your back!
This article was written by me, Jenna Em, and appears in the July 18th 2012 issue of the Kuklamoo blog! http://blog.kuklamoo.com/2012/07/18/kids-clothing-on-a-shoestring-budget/