With three growing children one of our biggest expenses for them is clothing. Of course, you could save a lot of money buying off brand clothing and some people actually prefer some of the off brands. However, I have found that paying a little more up front for a name brand piece is worth it for lasting quality. Personally I would rather buy gently used name brand clothes over brand new off brand clothing. After having three children I can safely say that off brands just don't work for us. Not every single piece of clothing my kids wear is name brand, but about 90% is and I don't pay an arm and leg for their clothes. Here are some of my top money savings tips for getting great clothing at much lower prices:
- Buy name brand clothing when stores are having seasonal clearance sales. There is usually a clearance rack in the back of stores like Old Navy, Gymboree and The Gap that have prices slashed on clothing from the previous season or the season that's just ending. We buy bigger sizes and save them for the following year.
- Check online sites for promotions and savings. Sign up with your favorite stores for e-mail notifications, such as sales and promotional codes. If you use programs like Cashbaq you also earn a certain percentage back of whatever you spend and that can add up!
- Check eBay for name brand clothing, either new with tags or gently used. Often people will sell in large lots and if you can find lots with only a few deals you can snag some really good deals! Use Typohound to search for listings with errors in the titles. For example, I often search Gymboree and it will bring up any eBay listing with a type in that title and since those listings are often over looked, I can get a good deal!
- Check local thrift stores for name brand clothes or consignment shops. I know a lot of people have negative opinions about thrift stores, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping at a thrift store to save money. You can often find brand new (with tag) items here for as low as $1 a piece! Consignment shops will also let you trade used clothing for an in store credit and then you can shop for the clothing your child needs.
- Use online sites to "trade" your used clothing and baby items for other items and sizes your child needs. I use Kizoodle and Swapbabygoods.com to trade items we are no longer using and I have gotten some really nice things from both places! I just got two Christmas gifts in the mail today for my daughter that came from Kizoodle, both brand new and sealed.
- During the summer do some yard sale searching. You can check Craigslist and Freecycle for yard sales in your area.
- Freecycle is another great place to check for clothing. This is a site designed for people who no longer need items they own and would like to offer them to others free of charge. You can join a group in your area and even post a want ad for sizes and styles you are in need of.