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How to Save Money on Children's Clothing

Aug 18, 2007
Keeping up with children's needs is difficult, especially when it comes to keeping up with their clothing needs. It only gets harder as they get older and pickier. What does it take to save money so that shopping for your kids doesn't completely do in your budget?

A lot of it depends on your children's ages and clothing preferences.

Infants and Toddlers

This is in many ways the easiest age, 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. 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.

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.

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.

It's not always easy keeping the costs of your children's clothing down. 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.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.homewiththekids.com/blog/ about the challenges of being a stay at home mom. She offers more tips on living on a tight budget at her site.
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