You know the drill—you spend a small fortune on your kids’ clothing and before those little pants, shirts and dresses have made it through a laundry cycle, your kids have outgrown them. Frustrating? You bet. That’s why it pays to find ways to save. Try these options for cutting your children’s wardrobe budget.
Shop resale (or consignment) stores. It’s a brilliant concept, probably dreamed up by a mom. Resale shops sell gently used and even new clothes for kids. The typical savings is 75% off of the original retail price. To save even more, bring in the clothes that your kids have outgrown and either sell them or get store credit.
Check online. Sites like eBay or Etsy are great places to shop for kids’ clothes—many times sellers will package items in bulk for one lump sum. You should also look for coupon codes before shopping online. For example, you can often find Babies R Us coupons or The Children’s Place coupons which can help you stack additional savings on top of sale prices.
Swap it out. Plan a clothing swap with other parents. You can even use websites like thredUP.com to that facilitate the process.
Know the store’s guarantee. Kid’s clothing should be durable. Make sure you know what a store’s return policy is before you buy. For example, L.L. Bean clothes are guaranteed to last. They accept returns without a receipt and there is no time restriction.
Shop outlets. Outlet malls offer great deals. Before you shop, visit the outlet center’s website and look for coupons, or visit the customer service desk at the mall and ask about special promotions or coupon books. You’ll often find coupons worth at least 10% off.
The Final Word: Kids’ clothing and equipment is a budget item you can control. Consider resale shops, online stores, and clothing swaps to get deals. If you’re not into gently used, shop outlet malls and ask about additional savings.
The article above was written by our newest contributor – Jeanette Pavini – an Emmy award-winning consumer reporter and personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.