When it comes to saving money on kids’ clothing, nothing beats shopping second-hand at thrift shops, consignment stores and garage sales. You can often score garments and shoes for as little as $1, with some items still sporting the merchandise tags from the previous retailer. Stores simply can’t compete with these prices!
Sometimes, however, you just like having something new, and the same goes for your kids. Specific requests like rain boots with frogs (not dinosaurs, Mom!) or bright red petticoats may be hard to find when you limit your choices to previously-owned. Luckily, you needn’t pay full price for brand-new clothing; read on for top tips to spend less on shiny new threads!
Shop end-of-season sales.
The worst time to buy new clothing for your kids is when those garments are in season. You’ll pay peak prices (or save only 20 to 40 percent) on new arrivals, while last season’s clothing is available for up to 70-percent off on the clearance rack. Get into the habit of loading up on clearance clothing and avoiding new arrivals until they go on sale, which is typically two months after their initial debut. For example, spring clothing typically arrives on showroom floors in February, with the first sale prices showing up around April.
Take advantage of holiday offers.
Holiday weekends and seasonal events like Memorial Day and Back-to-School are the best times to pick up off-season garments for savings of up to 80 percent. These events feature not only clearance prices, but additional discounts of up to 60 percent in the form of store promotions or coupons. Follow this quick guide for the best time to buy seasonal apparel:
Spring Apparel/Shoes: April & May, especially Memorial Day
Summer Apparel/Shoes: August & September, especially B2S and Labor Day
Fall Apparel/Shoes: October & November, especially Columbus Day and Cyber Monday
Winter Apparel/Shoes: Late December & January, especially Dec. 26
Seek out coupons.
Seek out additional discounts on clearance items through sites like Coupon Sherpa, where you can find The Children’s Place Coupons, $10 off Promo Codes 2017 and savings from other top kids’ clothing retailers. In addition to coupon codes for online shopping, make sure you have access to the top in-store coupons by downloading the free Coupon Sherpa app, which features savings like 20-percent off purchases of $40 or more from Carter’s, and up to $10 off from Shoe Carnival.
Use discount gift cards.
Buying gift cards at a discount and using them as your payment method is a great way to save money on kids’ clothes! For example, current rates listed on Gift Card Granny show savings of up to 11 percent from Kohl’s, up to 15 percent from Dillard’s, and up to 16 percent from Old Navy. Use these cards together with store sales and coupons for the deepest discounts on new clothing.
Shop off-price retailers.
Ross, TJMaxx and even Nordstrom Rack are excellent sources of reduced-priced kids’ clothes, with designers like Ralph Lauren selling for just a few dollars. These stores are especially good for pricier purchases like winter jackets and special-occasion outfits. While sales and coupons are uncommon, you can shop clearance racks for even deeper discounts, and both TJMaxx and Nordstrom Rack offer promo codes for online shoppers. What’s more, discount gift cards are available for these retailers to further reduce the cost of your purchase. Finally, don’t forget Zulily, the flash sale site featuring up to 70-percent off brand-name clothing and shoes for kids.
While shopping the sale and clearance racks, don’t let size dictate your purchasing decision. Sizes vary by brand and buying larger sizes increases the longevity of garments, since kids can grow into them over time. Look beyond your child’s current size and base your decision on your personal knowledge of your child’s length and measurements! You can also make style changes to help your child grow into their new clothes stylishly, like cuffing too-long jeans.
When investing in brand-new clothing, consider sticking to solid and neutral colors and styles as much as possible. In addition to providing your kids with more versatility, they also make for better hand-me-downs for younger siblings. A yellow or navy onesie, for example, can easily be worn by girls or boys, and even things like winter jackets and pajama pants can be gender neutral.
Shop warehouse club stores selectively.
You can buy most anything from warehouse club stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, including children’s clothing. It’s important to compare prices on clothing to other retailers before you buy, as the savings may not be as big as advertised. However, you can often score deep discounts on seasonal items like swimwear and winter jackets.