Last Updated March 22nd, 2018

How to Save Money on Children’s Clothing

How to Save Money on Children's Clothing

How much do you spend on children’s clothing? It’s easy to spend too much. They outgrow clothes so quickly, especially during growth spurts. Finding ways to save money on children’s clothing can be a help to your budget.

Some tactics are easier when the kids are younger and don’t much care about where their clothes come from. Older kids may want more say in what they wear and where their clothes come from.

The first rule is, of course, to avoid impulse shopping. Buying only what you need will always help you save money.

Infants and Toddlers

Infants and toddlers are in many ways the easiest to shop for, if also the most tempting for dressing them up cute. Most parents end up with far too many clothes for their kids at this age after baby showers. They’re so easy to buy for and the clothing is often just so cute.

If you had a baby shower, take a good look at what you really have for your baby before you start buying. You may not need that much. Keep doing this as your kids grow and you fail to realize just how many clothes they have received as birthday presents or at other times.

It’s also a great time for shopping thrift and resale shops. An amazing amount of infant and toddler clothing makes into such places unworn or so close to it you’d scarcely notice the difference. The savings can be a real delight.

Don’t stress about sizes on baby clothes. They vary so much! Go by what fits your child, not by what the tag says. This will be true to a degree as kids get older, but is especially an issue in baby clothes.

Shopping for Older Children

As kids get older, shopping for them gets more difficult. Even preschoolers may start to develop a distinct fashion sense or start to prefer name brand clothing. Gently used clothing that still meets their preferences becomes more and more difficult to find.

You can still find some good clothing at resale or thrift shop for your kids. As they develop an interest in how they are dressed you will need to let them help you pick appropriate clothing. Some kids can develop a real sense for the bargains to be had at resale shops.

As long as you can, discourage them from wanting only brand names. And if brand name isn’t in your budget, consider it a lesson for your children on living within your means. There is no rule saying children have to be dressed in brand name clothing, no matter how much they want to be like their friends.

Outlet shops can also be a great resource. When you give in on brand names, try the outlet shops rather than the department stores. You should be aware of the regular price as well as what you could get the items on sale for, so you know what a good price is at the outlet.

Shopping at the right time matters as well. You won’t always have your choice with kids – if they have a growth spurt and outgrow the clothes you have for them sooner than you are ready for them to do so.

But whenever you can, be prepared to shop at the right time. Good times to find the best deals include the end of the season and after holidays. Just be careful about buying too much in advance – you might end up buying items that never get worn.

Then there’s the piece of advice my son’s pediatrician gave at his most recent checkup. My son is at that age where he is getting tall! She told me to buy shorts rather than long pants as much as possible for him. Long pants are outgrown much more quickly than shorts.

Handmedowns

At any age, don’t forget the value of handmedown clothes for children. My sisters and I passed so many clothes down through the years, starting when the kids were babies. Some outfits made it through five kids, and there’s one jacket, still going strong, that is nearly 20 years old now. It’s still beautiful and every girl has been reluctant to give it up even after outgrowing it. Yes, that’s it in the snow picture above.

Handmedowns went so well for us that the younger kids had almost too many clothes at times, as each family would add just a few new items to the batch. It was pretty amazing how well this worked for us.

You can do handmedowns with friends too. All you need is a group of people willing to pass kids’ clothes back and forth, and kids with the right age separations to make it practical.

Some kids will get grumpy about handmedowns as they get older. The big thing I do is make sure that there are some new clothes for each child, and not just handmedowns.

Timing of handmedowns can help as well. My kids have to wear uniforms to school, so they get their handmedown clothes at the end of the school year, when they can actually wear them regularly. This makes them a lot more exciting. They get out of school and have a whole new wardrobe for summer!

Kids who don’t have school uniforms are more likely to appreciate new clothes when school starts. There’s something so nice about having new clothes for school, and I think most of us remember that. Even if it’s just new to your child and not new from the store.

Online Shopping

Shopping online with a trusted merchant can be a fair deal as well. You can find quite a range of clothing at Amazon, for example. The one disadvantage is that the clothes cannot be tried on beforehand. If you have Amazon Prime, it’s usually not much of a problem, as many clothes will have free shipping.

There are a lot of other places online where you can get children’s clothes for cheap. If you want used clothes, ThredUp may be an option.

Rarely Worn Clothes

Some clothes your kids will wear only rarely. Sometimes you can get away with buying an extra large size in rarely worn clothes, so that you get an extra year or so out of them.

Think about winter jackets in places with mild winters. My kids need a heavy jacket no more than a couple times a year, so if I have to buy one, I get it in a larger size than they need. Same for snow boots. Boots can be worn with extra socks to make them fit better, which isn’t a bad idea in cold weather anyhow.

Don’t buy oversize in things that oversize will be uncomfortable or awkward. You want your kids to use the clothes, not hate them.

Sell Old Clothes

If you aren’t doing handmedowns, selling old clothes can be a great way to get some money back on anything your kids haven’t completely ruined. Many will go through phases where they ruin a lot of clothes, but anything still in good shape could be sold.

You can go the traditional route and have a garage sale every year or two, for example. You can sell some clothes on eBay or Poshmark, or sell them to ThredUp or Swap.com. Just make sure you understand what you’re getting into if you send your clothes to ThredUp so that you aren’t disappointed in what they give you.  And of course you can shop for clothes on any of these as well.

Some people do well selling their clothes on Instagram. The advantage here is that you don’t pay a commission, although you may have to deal with Paypal fees.

Avoid Single Use Items

When it comes to special occasions, it can be easy to want to buy something special for your child. These special items can cost more than regular clothes, yet you might only use them once.

Special occasion clothes were always my favorites for handmedowns or thrift stores. They don’t cost much that way.

I also do what I can to find special clothes that can be worn more than once. Don’t choose a super Christmas-y outfit for a child if there’s one that could be used for other holidays as well.

I also suggest buying fancy shoes for kids as rarely as possible. Kids want to run around, and fancy shoes make that more difficult. Sure, they’re cute, but they scuff up too easily, or the decorations get ruined. Kids don’t need really dressy shoes for most occasions. Take some time to consider if this is really one of those times.

It’s not always easy to save money on children’s clothing. Doing so can mean you teach them not only about how to look nice but also how to live within your means. Both can be valuable lessons.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated November 29th, 2011

How Do Stay at Home Moms Get the Holiday Shopping Done?

One of the more difficult things to do as a stay at home mom is to find time to get out without the kids tagging along, especially when they’re younger. It’s bad enough the rest of the year, but when the holiday season comes and you want to get presents for the kids without them catching you at it, things can get pretty difficult. How can you handle all that shopping when you need to watch the kids?

These are just a few of the ways I handle things. It’s not always easy to get time on my own, but something is usually possible eventually.

Shop Online

This one should be obvious these days, but it’s not always easy to keep kids from peeking over your shoulder, nor is it always a replacement for going out and actually seeing the things you want to buy. When you’ve got just a little time and privacy, it’s one of the easiest. Great selection, shipping free from many sites, this stuff can be good.

Amazon is a common favorite because they carry such an amazing range of things. I also have a deep fondness for ThinkGeek. I’d imagine you have your own favorites too.

Shop During School Hours

If the kids go to school and you have a few hours without them, it’s a great time to get your holiday shopping done. It means watching the clock a little, but that’s not usually a major problem.

Have Someone Else Watch the Kids

I love this option. Usually it’s my husband or a grandparent watching the kids to give me time out for holiday shopping. Grandparents are particularly useful if my husband and I want to go out shopping together. It’s fun picking things out with someone else to talk to, after all.

If you don’t have family nearby, see about trading off with friends. Surely you know someone else who has a hard time getting out to shop because of their kids. Make a deal which benefits you both.

Remember Toddlers Don’t Really Understand Everything

I do a lot of my holiday shopping with my toddler in tow, even if it’s for her. I can show her things, even put them into the cart and buy them, and know that by the time I give them to her, she’ll be excited all over again. She also doesn’t yet have the vocabulary to spoil any surprises for her siblings.

Shop Later

One of the presents my kids ask for most often is that I take them shopping after the holidays or a birthday. They love that a big part of their present is time out with me or their father, whoever they pick. A budget is set, the kinds of things I’ll be willing to buy explained, and off we go. Usually there’s ice cream or a movie involved as well. It’s fun and it ensures that whatever is bought is what that child wanted.

I try to make this one on one time, but it can be done with siblings along if desired. Just make it a little extra special.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated October 3rd, 2011

6 Work at Home Lessons While Halloween Costume Shopping

I took Saturday as a family day. Had some fun watching my son’s soccer game (his team won), then took the kids out shopping for their Halloween costumes. We wanted to get out before the selection was down too far. The older two didn’t want anything I could make myself this year, so I only get to be creative with my youngest’s costume.

Watching the kids shop, though, was kind of like watching someone trying to decide how they’re going to work at home.

1. You don’t always want what you think you want.

My oldest was positive that she would be Cleopatra for Halloween this year. She’d been saying so for months. Instead, she fell utterly in love with a Snow Princess costume. My son was sure he wanted to be Spiderman, but the costume he picked was Optimum Prime.

You can be sure that you know what kind  of work you want to do at home, but just as sure as my kids changed their minds about their Halloween costumes, a little research may change your mind. Keep an open mind as you consider your options.

2. Shop around.

We didn’t just hit the costume shop nearest us for costumes. We started there so that we’d know their prices, but then checked out a few other places. Good thing too, as that saved us $10 on my son’s costume.

A part of finding work you can do from home is looking for the right job or business opportunity. Don’t assume there’s one thing that will work for you. You might find a similar option has better pay, better benefits, a better chance to earn money, or will just be more fun for you. You also improve on your chances of avoiding scams if you shop around a little and get to know what’s more likely to be a legitimate offer.

3. Make sure it’s a good fit.

When my daughter chose her Snow Princess costume, she first grabbed the one right in the front of the rack. She paid no attention to size. It was only when I pointed out another costume that didn’t come in her size that she looked and realized that she had grabbed too small a size. Fortunately, her size was also available.

That work at home job or business you’ve been considering also may not be the perfect fit right off the rack. Make sure you know as much as you can about what you’re getting into so that you don’t have to start your search all over again unless really necessary. Job hunting is tedious, and business hopping is a great way to avoid success if you overdo it.

Of course, sometimes a switch is necessary. What looks good on paper or online isn’t always for you once you get going. Don’t be afraid to try that opportunity on and give it a really good go.

4. Use your imagination.

My oldest is quite imaginative. I usually get comments about that from her teachers, not always in a perfectly positive light. Her Snow Princess costume already has her imagination going. I’ll leave it at that.

Imagination is a great advantage to many of us who work at home. It can help you to think of ways to work at home that others may not have considered. It can help to improve your business or your job performance.

Overdoing it isn’t necessarily a good thing, and you can’t let your imagination take over so much that you never get any real work done. Dreaming of success won’t get you nearly as far as working hard toward success.

5. Make your own.

I get to make at least one of my children’s costumes most years. This year it’s only the costume for my youngest. We bought some silk leaves at Micheal’s, and I’ll be attaching them to a brown hooded top my youngest loves to wear to make her a woodland fairy costume. We got some fake berries and acorns to go along with the leaves. It should be really cute.

When it comes to working at home, remember that you don’t always have to go for the opportunities that are right on the shelf. Don’t stick with the lists of companies that hire people to work at home if you think you can find work elsewhere, or consider freelancing. Don’t assume that the only way to have a home business is to join an opportunity and do it all the way you’re told. Make the work your own. You can improve upon what’s available to you and make a much more interesting home business this way.

6. Decide if you need your own disguise.

Some parents dress up for Halloween, others skip it. What are you going to do?

Online privacy can be a big deal. It’s not so hard if you have a work at home job – your employer needs legitimate information from you for tax reasons, but they shouldn’t be spreading that information all over anyhow.

It’s more difficult if you have a home business online. You have to decide how much personal information you will share.

Some people use a pen name and have private registration on all their websites. Some are fine with a P.O. Box to keep their home address private. Some aren’t at all concerned about using their own names online.

You have to decide what’s right for you. There are a lot of odd people out there and a lot of really nice ones. You have to decide how much you want to maintain your privacy while building a good business. Some find it difficult to deal with a pen name while others wouldn’t go without one. What works for you depends on you and the goals you have for your business.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated April 16th, 2011

Come Back Later – A Simple Money Saving Tip

Most of us like to shop. It’s fun to see all the things you’d love to own, whether it’s new clothes or the latest gadgets. The only problem is that looking often leads to buying, and that’s bad for most budgets. How can you keep your impulse shopping under control.

My own preferred method of handling impulse shopping is to control the impulse part of it. I rarely allow myself to buy on impulse. I have to think about it first.

If you can get past the urge to buy right away, it’s really not too hard. Build the habit of walking away from something you want to buy on impulse. Go look at other things. Maybe even give it a day or several.

The idea is to give yourself time to think if you really need the item or if it’s just a want, and if a want, if it’s worth giving in to that want.

The thing to remember is that pretty much anything you see while out shopping will still be there later. Very few things are all that limited, and most really limited things you might buy on impulse aren’t things you really need. The things you need are more likely to be there day after day, week after week. Even if you don’t buy them right away, they’ll probably be there later.

Coming back to a potential purchase later works pretty well if you have a few options to consider. It’s time to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the things you’re considering. You might find that a feature that attracted you immediately doesn’t matter as much as one you notice with a little more thought.

This even works when it comes to buying snacks when you’re out grocery shopping. This can be good for your grocery budget and your waistline, depending on the kinds of impulse buys you tend to make there. Of course, better yet for controlling your grocery shopping is having a list and sticking to it.

Of course, if impulse shopping is a problem for you, the first step may be finding ways to limit how often you do any sort of shopping that can lead to impulse buys. If you like to just wander shopping malls or online shopping sites, or if you get easily tempted when you see an online review for a product, it helps to find ways to avoid those situations. Look at when you’re getting tempted and how often the temptation is to buy something you’ll be glad you bought in the long run. If you’re getting tempted into far more bad purchases than good, it may be time to find something else to do.

A little patience and a little planning can help you quite a bit when it comes to controlling your impulse shopping habits. What works for you?

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated September 8th, 2010

What Are You Promoting for Christmas?

It’s that time of year again, and the brick and mortar stores may have beaten you to it. Are you starting up your Christmas promotions?

Brick and mortar stores are doing so already in some locations, and more will do so in the near future. It may feel early, but if you aren’t ready for Christmas now with your online business, you should be thinking about what you’re doing to make the most of the biggest shopping season of the year.

You can start by checking to see which of your shopping pages need to be updated. Are they offering current products?

Next think about what you would like to start promoting this year. Get those pages and/or sites up and running.

Don’t feel as though it’s too early. Lots of people start shopping for the holidays early. There’s no need to miss out on sales just because you feel that it’s strange to be thinking that way already.

I don’t mean for you to decorate your sites all in Christmas colors, of course. And please don’t autoplay Christmas music when people come to your site. There’s plenty of that in the malls. All you really need is to have your sites set up to make some good money for you over the holiday season.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.