Get a few friends and/or church members to swap children's clothes. Children grow out of clothes so fast. You can also do clothes swaps if you are losing weight So you don't have to spend a fortune on in between fashions.
My daughter has three children in school and that can be so damaging to the wallet. She visited our local Goodwill Store, got 6 pair of boys jeans, 2 skirts, and 12 blouses for $100. That is some smart shopping!
Sometimes older kids get their new clothes, then they go to school and the next week they say to mom or dad "I don't like these clothes". To avoid this, don't go shopping yet, go shopping in a week or two and let them see what's out there or what the fashion is. Then take them with you and let them pick out their own things (unless its hanging off of them). You also save money because the prices on clothes go up the first week in September while they always go on a sale a week or two later.
Before I went to boarding school, my mother was in a shopping mood and at the last minute, she decided not to buy most of the items as they might not have been in the style that the kids wore. She was absolute right.
Unfortunately, she never did get around to buying me much after school started. Although we went shopping, she didn't approve of the items I'd selected (back in the 1960's). End of story.
Put ads in the free section of Craig's List. Or put wanted ads in the for sale section. Check out eBay, which costs some more.
Look through the phone book for all the consignment stores. The American Cancer Society is a good one. Look for ones in more expensive neighborhoods, and especially in resorts.
By the Oracle
My daughter is becoming "Label conscience" and is only 10. We happened to visit one of her favorite stores (Limited Too) and came upon a huge clearance blowout (it was in April)- I spent about $30 and got her many outfits (I did not get anything that is too trendy) for school for this coming year, the only things we need to get now are shoes, socks and school supplies!
Also, her school bookbag is a namebrand that has a lifetime gaurantee (remember to save the receipt). I requested one for her Birthday (close to when school starts) because I was tired of buying an $8 bookbag that only lasted a few months. My family member was able to pick it up on clearance and with coupons (Sometimes department stores are worth shopping in!).
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Go to OLD NAVY.com and hit their clearance bin FIRST. All orders over $75 have FREE FREIGHT!!! If they can nmake do with their winter coats just a while longer, JC Penneys will put all their winter gear on sale at 60% off around Thanksgiving. Buy things at the Salvation Army, bring it home, wash it and hang it up - often they don't know they ARE NOT new! Also find a GOOD consignment store, especially for teen girls and guys. By the time most clohtes make it to the Salv Army, especially jeans, they are shreds. At consignment stores, you are buying 'rich folks' castaways. Things like Gap shirts, at The Gap they'd be $45, at a consignment BARTER nicely, and you can get them for less than $10! For elementary kids, buy lots of packages of white and black tshirts. Decorate them yourself with iron on stuff, and liquid embroidery (there are always tons of half-used bottles at the SalvArmy), add rhinestones, etc. JAZZ it up! I always buy new shoes from Payless when its buy one, get on free, new undies and sox from Target/Walmart same way ... buy one, get one free. I dont buy used sox or undies. And I especially do NOT buy used shoes for children. Kids feet need their OWN shoes to grow inside of, not someone else's slant to the right or left! If last year's jeans are too short, cut'em off, hem them for shorts. Get a cheap grommet maker and dazzle them up some. Also ... splurge on ONE thing, it makes all the cost cutting you HAVE to do on everything else so much easier when the kid does get that ONE thing. And don't forget eBay! I've bought NEW shirts for 99 cents each, with postage of only $1.00! It's a great place for snow boots, winter coats, too. My son is pictured below in his hand-me-down jeans and tshirt but with is ONE THING - customized Sponge Bob shoes from eBay that he bid on himself, with a prearranged top dollar amount he could spend. I do his hair myself with a $15 set of barber shears from Walmart. I've gotten pretty darn good at it too - now the neighbor kids line up for their first day back to school cuts, and I charge $5 - thereby earning a little for MY kids clothing and saving their moms anywhere from $10 to $25! Ask around your neighborhood about a swap meet - older teens usually have just what the younger ones are drooling over. Be sure to include YOUR closet in those swaps, too - nothing like feeling great in a NEW dress, eh? :-)
Also, if you have a Ross or TJ Maxx clothing store, you can get brand name for cheap..That is what my sister and I do.
My kids are not aware of name brands as of yet. I have an 8 yr old girl and 6 yr old boy. I buy a lot of their clothes at garage sales and do find many of those brands that seem so popular....not that it matters to me or the kids. It is still hot here and probably they will be wearing their Summer clothes till the end of Sept so I am not buying anything new now. I will dress them up cute tho for first day but it will probably be a garage sale outfit they haven't had on yet or something I got on sale.
I highly suggest buying backpacks at L L Bean. The quality is really good and the price is not bad either. My kids get atleast 2 years out of one of their backpacks. They have nice styles and colors/patterns to choose from and also in different sizes to fit the size of your child. You can also have it monogrammed with your child's name or initials. I am not suggesting you get an L L Bean Visa but I have one to use JUST with them as it entitles me to not only free monogramming but also free shipping. I buy online so it's very easy and their service is very fast.
omg i too almost only shop thrift stores my kids wear almost all brand names and people are always amazed! i dont lie either i tell em where i shop and try to pass the bargain on the ones i go to are 45 mins away so its not like there willl be nothing left! the better ones in a better neighborhood i live out in the counntry in an old farmhouse and buy all my antiques and home decor stuff there too have fun and treasure hunt you get so many bargains my kids love going they were raised that way!
Don't forget that TJ Maxx and Marshalls have layaway!!! It really came in handy last year when I was shopping for my son who was going away to college. I was able to buy a little at a time throughout his senior year.
I have found a way to greatly reduce my budget for buying my kids clothes. I have 3. First I look out of season. I buy summer clothes in fall, when they go on sale, I buy a couple items in the size they are wearing, and a couple that are bigger, just in case. I buy most their clothes at Goodwill, and thrift stores. They have many name brand items I have picked up for almost nothing. I also have started a co-op of sorts with some other moms I know, we call each other about once a week,and let each other know what we need for the kids etc. and what we want to pay, so when we go to garage sales, and such we can keep an eye out for each other.
I once was looking for a new winter coat form my son in summer time, and my friend was at a garage sale she called me because she had it on my "list", they had a coat there name brand college football team that he wanted for 10.00, then she told me but the seam to the hood is unraveling..I said, " okay, point that out and ask if they would take less for it." I could here her asking, and the woman said oh, I didn't even realize that so, I ended up wit the jacket for 3.00 and i sewed the seam up myself.
Thats one thing to keep in mind too, if you can sew, or there are small tears in clothing that you can sew up that won't be seen always ask for a discount, most places will give you one, even thrift stores, and sometimes goodwill, will give you the item for .99 cents.
I have found jeans with small tears in them, gotten them for .99 cents and covered the hole with a cool, iron on patch. I have gotten shirts with missing buttons for .59 cents, and when I finished putting on the new buttons which cost me a whole .50 cents, I had a Tommy Hilfiger shirt for a 1.09...can't beat that.
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