The following post is from Melissa Batai
A kid’s job, it seems, is to grow as fast as possible. Any parent of an infant can attest to that when the sweet baby fits in size 0 to 3 months for four weeks before zooming on to the next size. Luckily, if you want to save money on infants’ clothing, you can find plenty of clothes in excellent condition on eBay, at garage sales, or at second hand stores.
Once children enter adolescence, however, the clothes cost more and kids outgrow them quickly. Finding bigger size kids’ clothes at a garage sale is hit or miss. Luckily, there are other ways you can save on bigger kids’ clothes.
Be a minimalist. When it comes to kids’ clothes, be a minimalist. Your child doesn’t need 10 pairs of jeans. Depending on how often you do laundry, you may be able to get by with 3 to 5 pairs of pants, and one nice pair of dress up pants. Plenty of bloggers have shared their children’s minimalist wardrobe, but I found this one a nice place to start when you think about limiting your kids’ clothes.
Shop second hand stores. Since I find garage sales hit or miss when buying for my kids in bigger sizes, I now sometimes shop at second hand kids’ clothing stores. I don’t always find what I need there, but I can find some reasonably priced items. This is a nice place to begin my clothing search.
Trade in your kids’ outgrown clothes. Since I’m already shopping at the second hand store, I take my kids’ used clothes here to trade in. At our store, if you opt for store credit instead of cash, the store gives you an extra 15% in credit. Right now, I have over $50 credit in my account, which will be perfect when I need to start buying my kids’ summer clothes.
Hand down pajamas between genders. Our oldest is a boy, and our younger two are girls. At first, I got rid of everything my son outgrew, but then I realized the girls could easily wear his outgrown pajamas. Right now, the girls each have a pair of his unisex fleece pajamas, and our older girl has a pair of our son’s outgrown construction pajamas. No one will see them outside the home, so why does it matter? Handing down pajamas lets me continue to use good clothing without spending money for new items. (Of course, this may not work as well if you’re oldest is a girl and has pink pajamas! In this case, I’d try to buy unisex pajamas for the girl to hand down to the boy.)
Buy higher quality clothes initially. Another strategy that I’ve begun to implement is buying higher quality clothes so that they last longer and can be handed down. I’ve been shopping Hanna Andersson, but only when they have significant clearance sales. These clothes hold up so well that my first daughter can wear them for 12 to 18 months, and then they can be handed down to my next daughter to wear another 12 to 18 months. When the clothes are handed down, they are still in excellent condition.
What are your favorite strategies to save money on kids’ clothes?