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The parent who is looking to live as frugally as possible as they seek to give their kids the best, understands the frustration which comes from the high price of clothing for rapidly growing little ones. If you want to be able to set aside more money for their future, are saving to take them on a nice vacation, or are simply trying to make ends meet, you need to know how to save money on kids’ clothes.
Here is how to do it…
Yes, it virtually always feels like you’re setting up a drug deal with this, but Craigslist makes for a fantastic go-to source for those looking for kids’ clothes on the cheap. Typically, kid’s clothes are sold in large lots here for an incredibly cheap price.
I’d argue that Facebook Marketplace is a classier alternative to Craigslist. How many moms do you know with the Craigslist app on their phone? None? That sounds about right.
Now, how many moms do you know with the Facebook Marketplace app on their phone?
If you answered ‘all of them’ you hit the nail on the head. While Marketplace has a rather annoying layout to it, it’s entirely possible to save massive amounts of money here on kid’s clothes should you check in to the site regularly.
One thing you’re likely to find within Facebook Groups is a clique of mothers in your area who swap out clothes with one another either at bargain price, via barter, or who simply give the clothes away (if they’re become friends through the Group, at least).
You may want to do a little sleuthing online to see just who is networking in your area here. If you can trade your five-year-old’s stack of jeans which no longer fit him to a mother who has a selection of shirts for your seven-year-old, you’ve just saved yourself a pile of money. And all it required was an internet connection.
Yard sales make for summertime savings.
You have to typically wait for the summertime to save money here, but these serve as an excellent place to pick up kid’s clothing for somewhere between $0.25-$1.00 per clothing item. Oftentimes, the seller will be more than happy to give you an even deeper discount if you offer to take all of the items off of their hands as well.
You’re helping the seller to avoid having to dispose of the clothes after the yard sale is over, and you’re walking home with $200 worth of clothing for $15! It’s a win-win. (And if you’re looking at how to make a sizable chunk of cash on your own yard sale, check out our take on the subject HERE.)
Buy out of season.
Retailers detest having to store product out of season. It’s for this reason that you can get massive discounts in September on bathing suits, and save big money on winter coats in April. There is a bit of guesswork involved with these purchases, as you have to somewhat predict what size your kid will be next season, but if you can save $50, it may very well be worth the risk.
If you’re looking to save money on kid’s clothes, this makes for a fantastic first place to start. You can easily find shirts for a dollar a piece here, and can even pick up nice shoes here. If you walk into Target, you’re likely going to spend $15-$20 on the same product. The nice thing I’ve noticed about thrift stores is that the clothing all tends to be of high-quality.
The store itself sifts through the garbage, so you don’t have to worry about looking through 10 stained shirts to find one that’s of decent quality. You may want to make these stores a weekly visit of yours if you’re looking to save money on your kids.
Secondhand baby goods stores
Many cities actually have stores specifically tailored to helping moms of young children save money. These often operate on a consignment basis as well, meaning you can both save and make some money here. These stores get their inventory from moms with clothing, strollers, changing tables, cribs, toys, shoes, and other childhood essentials that are all in fantastic condition.
Think of it as an in-person eBay. The store is simply providing the venue, and they get a small commission of all that the vendors make. I’ve heard stories of like-new Deuter child carrier backpacks for sale here right around the $40 mark. Brand-new, these can easily cost around $300+.
Even if a cursory search of your area doesn’t seem to show anything like this, keep an eye out for pop-up shops that do this in nearby towns. Oftentimes, these types of shops come in for a month before disappearing again till next year.
Family: Hand-me-down palooza
The family unit is a powerful thing, and the ability to help one another with hand-me-downs is just one of the things that family can do to take care of each other. Your kids are bound to have cousins or second cousins who are of a similar age, and if your family knows that you’re on the hunt for shoes for your little ones, you may be able to help each other out.
Hand-me-downs and clothing swaps are one of the ways that families were able to assist each other through rough patches of history, and there’s no reason that those same savings methods can’t be applied today.
Daycare and nursery groups are a great place to network.
If there’s no networking group available in your area, why not start your own? Any daycare or nursery that your child attends regularly could serve as the perfect place to start this. All you have to do is put a bulletin up at the facility telling other mothers that you’re starting a clothing swap. Figure out a venue (online or in-person), tell people who to contact, and you’ve the means to not only save a lot of money for yourself, but to help other parents to save money as well.
Networking always saves people money. “It’s who you know.” The more you can say, “Yeah, I know somebody for that,” the easier access you’ll have to saving money – even on kid’s clothes.
Saving money on kids’ clothes doesn’t have to be difficult.
Like anything else, it’s simply knowing where to look. If you find yourself looking to cut back on expenses in this area, check out some of the above resources. Millions of parents throughout America have saved literal piles of money here, and you can too.
What are your thoughts though? Are there other locations parents can save money on kids’ clothing? Do you have any success stories with any of the above? Let us know in the comments below!
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.