2. Shop online, you’ll get the best selections, most stores offer free shipping and you can google the store you love to find coupon codes. Plus if you use ebates to link into the stores website you’ll get a percentage of cash back, deposited into your PayPal account.
1. Find a few great consignment stores in your area. Over the years, I have scoped out dozens of local kids thrift stores. Some are dingy, hard to shop in, and don’t carry great quality items. However I always have at least 3 that I love! Once I find a store that is clean and full of great styles, I make an effort to pop in a few times a month to see what they have in stock.
3. Get on you favorite stores email lists. I get emails from Gymboree, The Children’s Place, and Old Navy. This way I never miss a great sale and always have a coupon code on my phone for those surprise trips to the store.
4. Shop late in the season. I have always heard shop off season which I do when I find rock bottom deals. However to fill in essentials and finish up a seasons wardrobe, I try to put off a shopping haul as long as possible. Living in New England makes this fairly easy because the weather takes so long to change. Summer fashion hits store floors by March, but the weather doesn’t call for spring/summer clothes until May or even June. If I wait till mid June to do the majority of my shopping all the adorable new releases from March are already discounted to a fraction of what they originally were. At The Children’s Place or Gymboree this is often a 40-50% or more sale, add the coupons that you get from their emails and you are getting amazing deals.
5. If you have stores you shop at regularly, consider getting a store credit card. Many offer great perks, such as rewards programs so that you earn points from each purchase and they can be redeemed towards store bucks. Some stores also offer early access to sales and the best ones offer you an additional discount on all in store purchases made with your store card.
6. Shop for the future. If you come across a pair of jeans that are marked down to a dollar or 2, get a few sizes. Or if you come across a beautiful coat at the thrift store that is an amazing deal but its a couple sizes to big, get it anyways. Kids grow, and they grow fast so building a practical stock pile of clothes in bigger sizes from great finds can really help you save a ton.
I shop seasonal consignment sales, where my local thrift store marks certain colored tags down to $1 a piece. I have picked up some of the most expensive brands at the mall in like new condition for just a buck a piece. Now I have a few storage bins for each child in my basement and as they grow into a new size, my first stop is their bins to see what I already have tucked away for them.
7. Host a clothing swap party for all your extra hammy downs. Have a bunch of moms over, serve some wine and chips, relax, and swap clothes. If you have boy clothes to get rid of and need baby girl clothes and a friend needs to get rid of a clothes her daughters outgrown and needs boys clothes, this could be a party. Now add a handful of moms with different sizes, genders, and needs and this could be a productive and fun get together.
8. Shop discount department stores and outlets. Anthony loves Under Armour, Jordan, and other labels that would cost me a fortune at the mall. However at stores like Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack these brands are very affordable. Outlet malls are also a great place to find a deal, I love taking trips up to our local outlet center over holiday weekends when they have awesome sale events.
9. Save clothes to pass down to younger siblings. Anthony is 2 sizes bigger than Aidan, so I can usually get by without needing to buy Aidan jeans or shorts because Anthony has so many to pass down. Plus any older t-shirts and sweatshirts work great for lounging and pajamas.
10. As your child outgrows all these bargains, gather all the clothes that aren’t stained or ripped and bring them into your favorite consignment stores and recoup some of the original cost and put it towards the next cycle of clothes.