If you have kids, you know how fast they grow out of things.
Just this school year, my son went through three different sizes! And we all know clothes and shoes aren’t cheap.
But I have learned some smart ways to save so I don’t break the bank buying clothes they’ll grow out of in the blink of an eye.
So, let’s discuss how to save money on kids’ clothes so that you can use that money for something else in your budget.
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Table of Contents
How to dress kids on a budget?
Here are the best ways to save on children’s clothing.
Hand-me-downs are a great way to save by not spending anything at all!
It can be tough sometimes because kids can be hard on clothes with stains and holes, but whatever you can keep will help you save money.
I keep a bin full of my oldest daughter’s gently used clothes and shoes for her little sister as she grows. This way, we can pull out her size and save money by only buying what she needs.
My sisters and I occasionally swap clothes that our kids have outgrown so that we don’t have to buy as much.
Freecycle and Buy Nothing Groups
Buy Nothing Groups on Facebook are great because people list what they have, and you can get it for free if you need it. And if you are looking for something, you can post what you need, and people will let you know if they have it.
Freecycle is a website that works similarly to Buy Nothing Groups. You can list stuff you want to give away or request things you need or are looking for.
Both are a great way to get kids’ stuff and more for free.
Consignment sales/Resale shops
Resale and consignment shops are great places to get affordable brand-name clothing or clothing for special occasions.
Our area has a huge sale twice yearly where you can get high quality, gently used, and new clothing for reasonable prices. The last day is 50% off with a dollar dash, and it’s a great time to get steeper discounts.
Garage sales/Rummage sales
Garage and rummage sales are a great way to get clothing for cheap. When people have yardsales, they want to get rid of stuff fast. So, the items are priced to sell, and the seller is willing to accept a bargain.
You can make out well shopping for kid’s clothing this way.
Thrift stores/Charity shops
If you’re not a thrifter, you would be amazed at what you can find at your local thrift stores.
Here are my favorite stores to shop at for gently used clothing and more.
- Salvation Army
- Last Chance Goodwill
- Goodwill Bins
- Local independent thrift stores
If you have never been to a Last Chance Goodwill or a Goodwill Bins…you don’t know what you’re missing!
Shop used online
Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay are great places to shop for gently used clothing, shoes, and sports gear for a great price.
When buying several things from the same seller, ask if they’ll give you a bundled price or a shipping discount.
Sign up for Poshmark using my invite code FRUGALISHFAMILY to get $10 off your first purchase!
Shop end-of-season sales
You can get steep discounts on clothing when you shop at the end of each season. Buy pieces your kids will fit into next year.
It’s helpful to have a sinking fund saved for this or a budgeted amount to spend so you’re not charging it on a store card or credit card.
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Keep it simple
Kids don’t need a huge wardrobe. Skip the trendy clothing and licensed gear and just stick to the basics. This will help you save more money.
A capsule wardrobe makes getting dressed easier and keeps a minimal closet. Buying pieces that can be mixed and matched to make several different outfits will help you save money and keep things simple.
You can also buy gender-neutral pieces so the hand-me-downs can work for children of different genders.
Here’s a suggestion for how many pieces you need for your child’s wardrobe.
|6 tops (short or long sleeve)||5 tops (short or long sleeve)|
|6 bottoms (shorts, jeans, pants, sweatpants)||5 bottoms (shorts, skirt, jeans, pants, leggings)|
|1 hoodie||2 dresses|
|coat (light weight or winter)||1 hoodie|
|a pair of shoes (sneaker/sandals/boots)||coat (light weight or winter)|
|a pair of shoes (sneakers/sandals/dress shoes)|
Related: Minimalism for Beginners: How to Simplify and Enjoy Your Life
Buy a size up
If you buy you’re kid’s clothing one size up, they’ll fit into it longer. Here is some clothing to look for that will make buying a size up easier to wear.
- Bottoms with elastic or drawstring waistbands.
- Bottoms with adjustable waistband straps and buttons.
- Clothing with a bit of stretch
- Flowy dresses and shirts for girls.
- Shoes that can be tightened with laces or velcro straps.
Treat stains right away
Stains happen…ALL.THE.TIME! So, to preserve the clothing, you should pretreat stains as soon as possible before washing.
Ask for clothes as gifts
When family or friends ask for ideas for birthdays, Christmas, or other gifts, tell them to get clothes or shoes.
Let them know your child’s current size and what they need specifically. Or suggest a gift card so you can buy what they need. This will help to lighten your spending and save money.
Organize a clothing swap
You can organize a clothing swap between friends, families, or your community. A swap is great for school uniforms, sports gear, toys, and clothing.
Everyone brings what they want to get rid of, and you swap for the things you need without spending any money.
Never pay full price
Never pay full price for clothing and other items. Wait for the sales and then shop for what you need. Here are some of my favorite stores to shop.
- Old Navy
- Children’s Place
Sign up for store email & discounts
If you don’t mind emails, you can sign up for email discounts and notifications when sales start.
Use websites like retailmenot.com and Chrome extensions like Honey to find discount codes for better deals.
Use cashback apps
Cashback apps like Rakuten and Ibotta are great when shopping online. They give you a percentage back when shopping and usually offer more cashback during holidays when spending increases (like Black Friday).
You can also use those cashback rewards towards your child’s clothes.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have great clothing, shoes, toys, and more. Start a sinking fund to save money for the big shopping day.
Always browse the clearance racks before anything else. Clearance racks are a great way to save and stock up for the different seasons.
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Borrow special occasion clothing
Special occasion clothing is a waste of money because usually it’s only worn once. See if you can borrow what you need from a friend or family member to avoid spending money you don’t have to.
Skip the holiday attire
Kids don’t need outfits for every single holiday. It’s a waste of money because it’s usually a one-time wear. You can skip it altogether to save money on clothes.
Designate play clothes
Let’s face it, kids are messy and like to get dirty. Therefore, pick a few outfits that are specifically for play. This will help keep the rest of the clothing in good shape for reselling or saving for hand-me-downs.
Resell outgrown clothes
If you have clothes that are in good condition, consider selling them. Here are a couple of ways to resell your kid’s clothes.
- Consignment stores
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook buy/sell/trade groups
Related: Ultimate Guide for How to Get Sales on Poshmark in 2023
Learn how to sew
Knowing how to mend holes, hem pants, and fix zippers will save you a lot of money. But you can also get creative, repurpose clothing, and make your kid’s clothing to save some money.
I love to find new sewing patterns to make clothing for my kids!
Clothing kids can get expensive, especially if you have more than one. But there are ways to save so you’re not wasting money. Keeping their wardrobe simple, buying used, and never paying full price are just a few tips to help you save money. But make sure to use some of the other tips to save even more!
How do you save on your kid’s clothes? Leave a comment below.