Save Money on Kids Clothing

Keep kids in nice clothing can be a major expense for parents because kids are always growing. Here are some tips from the ThriftyFun community to help you save on clothing for your kids.



After reading a recent tip about using denim that kids had worn out before outgrowing, I recalled a friend whose children grew very slowly. Both parents are small people and their kids are small as well. My friend told me she always bought her kids' clothes at Sears because Sears had a policy of replacing kid's clothing if it wore out before outgrown. This might be something to check into if your children grow slowly. (Mine didn't!)

By Janice

End of Season Shopping

Buy your kids clothing at the end of the season for the next year. I have saved so much money doing this. I buy things for $2-$4 instead of $10 or more. I have also stopped over-buying for them. I went CRAZY with clothes when they were little and they ended up with a lot of things they didn't even get a chance to wear. Even now, at ages 3 and 5 they have TONS of clothes in their closets that they don't wear - they have their 'favorites' and that's what they want to wear.


I also sell their clothes at Mom to Mom resales when they outgrow them and use that money to buy their clothes for the next season.

By Amy


This summer my daughter went through a growth spurt and shot up at least 3 inches! To save my money I cut off all her jeans and she's wore cutoffs all summer. This isn't new news to anybody but I think people don't do things like this enough. Too busy trying to keep up to the Jones doesn't keep money in your wallet.

By Juanita

Sell "Near New" Items

Making cutoffs has it advantages, but often you can get good money by reselling the items in "near new" condition. Shorts are easy to purchase cheaply during garage sale season.

By Judy

Once Upon A Child

Buy clothes at Once Upon A Child. They are gently used and have saved us a ton of money. I have a 6 year old and a one year old and they seem to out grow clothes just as I buy them and I get fantastic deals on brand name new and used clothes there.


By Suzanne S.

Organize With Outfits

A friend of mine had this suggestion and it really works. I always had so many clothes for my daughters that half the time I could not find anything that matched. Their drawers were crammed full and it was overwhelming.

My friend solved this problem by matching the clothes into outfits and hanging them in the closet. All odds and ends were disposed of.

Now she only buys outfits. If she finds a pair of pants on sale she won't buy them unless she finds a shirt to match. You save money because you don't end up with a bunch of clothes that don't match anything else.

I have started doing this with my daughter's stuff (and mine too). I can't believe how much money I am saving on clothes. I can see exactly what she has and what she needs. I don't feel like I need to get her as much clothes because I don't have odds and ends to find matches for. And getting dressed in the morning is soooo easy. Just grab and outfit and go! :-)

By Kathy Y.

Thrift Stores

I shop at local Thrift Stores to buy my children "specialty" items such as dress pants that they will only wear once. This saves so much money and gets them what they need.

By Tami


If it is a matter of being too short but they fit around, I have cut off pants for shorts or did an indian fringe on the bottom. For skirts, dresses and pants for that matter, I would buy an eyelet lace type trim and sew it around the bottom to add length. I used to take full skirts, cut off the waistband and cut and sew to make pillowcases.

By Knitter in Illinois

Extending Legs with Trim

My daughters seem to be growing straight up-so their jeans always seem to be too short, but they fit fine around the waist. I've found I can buy a little time by embellishing the leg hems with lace or other trim. It adds a little length and makes them look really cool. My daughters are having fun looking for trim and beads to dress up their jeans.

By Heidi

Hand-Me-Downs, Flea Markets and Sewing

Take any "hand-me-downs" that someone offers you. You can go through them and get out the ones that you like that your child can use and donate the others.

Also, go shopping at flea markets and thrift stores. You can find clothes that are in great shape (and some that are still new) cheap!

If you can sew, or know someone who can, you can make lots of good out of your kids' clothes. If jeans are too short or knees worn, cut them off and have them hemmed for shorts. If your baby gets too long for her sleepers, cut the feet out and have the ends hemmed. You can do the same with sleeves too!

By BrookesMommy

kids wearing new clothes
August 31, 20070 found this helpful

A lot of my kids clothes come from garage sales. I live in a well to do town and can get those "good" brands for next to nothing....not that branded items matter to me. I do not believe in spending a lot on clothes so the only new clothes are on sale or from Wal-Mart and most come from garage sales. Our kids look great and have large wardrobes because I haven't spent a lot. I am a firm believer in recycling and wearing nice used clothing is just another form of that.

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August 31, 20070 found this helpful

Organize a clothing swap with other moms in your area (I belong to a local mom's club that does one - or you can join a Yahoo group or similar online mom's group or with preschool parents, etc). Moms with kids of all ages can participate and there are always other moms with kids in other ages/sizes that can use the clothes. Everyone gets together at someone's home or at a meeting place and swaps clothes - plus it's a great night out for mom!

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August 31, 20070 found this helpful

Organize a clothing swap with other moms. My local mom's club does one - or you can join a Yahoo group or other online group, or just get together with friends or other moms from your child's school or daycare. Everyone brings their unwanted clothes to someone's home or other meeting place and just swaps what doesn't fit. Moms with kids of all ages/sizes can participate and everyone gets something - plus it's a great night out for the moms!

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August 31, 20070 found this helpful

I make a lot of clothes for my grand daughter. This is cost effective for me and it also enables me to boycott the sweatshop countries. When she was a crawler I made a pair of pull on denims with a deep hem. When she started walking and getting taller I let out the hem and put red rickrack around the faded spot where the hem had been and some eyelet trim at the very bottom. She was still able to wear them after she got out of diapers and into panties. She will be 5 on the 23rd and she still wears those things as play out britches. They are mid calf crops and she knows GranMarty made them when she was a teeny baby. If you have shorts for a diaper baby don't toss them. The absence of a diaper will leave enough room for at least 1 more season of wear.

Pants or jeans with trim at the hemline look really cute as they start to creep up the calf. Most kids grow taller long before they get larger in the waist so pants can be worn for a long time as long pants, pedal pushers and then cut offs or hemmed shorts.

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August 31, 20070 found this helpful

I have 2 DD ages 16 and 9. We go outlet shopping TWICE a year and always with list in hand. We are able to get almost everything and save a lot of money. You MUST know the prices of items before you go...however to really get a deal. Also load up on the internet coupons before you leave home. the list prevents us from impulse buys!

Happy SHopping

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August 31, 20070 found this helpful

Debbie, your post reminded me a a garage sale I went to with my daughter in law. My youngest was in middle school at the time. The person who was having the sale had some men's suits hanging there. She said her dad had recently retired and didn't need to wear a suit every day any more. He told her to go to his closet and clear out his "work clothes". I looked at them and most had obviously

been worn some. There was a Brooks Brothers suit with sharp creases and no sign of wear. She had a sign up that said 25 cents. I asked her and she said they were all a quarter so I plunked down my quarter and left. Mike had a good suit for one or two special occassions.

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September 2, 20070 found this helpful

I have found such a great idea that actually works. I hate when I buy something on sale only to find my child really hates it and whines when I try and make them wear it so I just say ok forget it, wear something else. So this year I went to my local bargin store, or even the 99cent store and bought good quality plain cotton t-shirts in all colors they like. Then go to craft store and buy iron on paper, find free clipart they like, save the images to desktop then print out on paper and iron on, so easy to do and cheap. Also you can go to the craft store ( I have Michael's) and they sell iron on's that are beaded, or sequinced, really nice and easy to do. I made 5 shirts for $15.00. I will add the same type of prints to the jeans leg or back pockets, skirt and short bottom corners. So they can match and look real cute. That is just my first try. I can't wait to do more.

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September 2, 20070 found this helpful

The best yard sales for clothes (5t and under) and used baby equipment is at your local twins club yard sale. They are usually organized well and have lots of slightly used stuff. Go to and click FIND A LOCAL CLUB and put in your zip code to find the local club in your area. Most have a website or a contact person. You can call and ask when the next sale is. Larger clubs have 2 sales a year.

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September 2, 20070 found this helpful

You can also buy fabrics with seasonal prints or children's prints to use with wonder under. I made some really cute shirts for my grand daughter with frogs. I ironed them on and outlined the picture with sparkle paint. I also bought one of the quilted book kits, "Winnie the Pooh". There was an extra picture with Pooh and Piglet playing in the rain and I put that one on a white tee for her. I have some Christmas sweat shirts with poinsettias on them. Check the fabric at Michael's or your fabric store. We have Hancock's here. Any large print will do for the shirts.

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September 5, 20070 found this helpful

Be sure to check out ALL of your local thrift stores and find out how their special "SALES" work for each individual store. We have a thrift store near my home that sells items marked with about 6 different colored tags; each week three of the colors are priced at 50% or 30% or 20% off the tagged price; only on Mondays, ALL 50% off tagged items in the entire store are only 50 cents EACH! That's almost as good as any garage sale I've ever shopped at. Also, at Once Upon a Child resale stores and at Kid to Kid resale stores, the store will punch a card for you for each $10.00 you buy, when the card is all punched you will get 20% off of a purchase. I fill up several cards a year as I purchase clothing for 7 grandchildren. So, at least twice a year I make very large purchases while buying 7 children an entire summer wardrobe and then buy 7 children their entire winter wardrobe; in these cases the 20% off card saves me A LOT of money. Watch your local papers, sometimes they will have a coupon for 25% off on your purchase! Also, at the end of the seasons these resale shops will sell items for 50% off and then for only 50 cents to $1.00 for items that didn't sell and they just want to get rid of them. I LOVE to shop at thrift stores and resale stores.

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September 12, 20070 found this helpful

Go to Children's Orchard. Its a resale shop that is unbelievable! I sold even some stuff and got a store credit for my items and they paid me way more than they would have in cash. I saved a bundle. Great prices and great stuff!

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September 1, 20080 found this helpful

I shop at online resale shops like


if you join there mailing list they have a lot of great sales.

Hope this helps!

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August 15, 20100 found this helpful

I have a 14 year old teenage granddaughter living with me, who will not go into a resale shop, or a goodwill store. I would get annoyed at her. Now we go together to the shops and she shows me what kind of shoes she likes, I know what tops, she likes. I know her sizes exactly for her fit. Then I go to our local goodwill, who sells a lot of new clothing, local consignment shops, and pay 1/4 price or less of what the stores are asking for. the busiest store in our town, is a huge consignment shop, carries anything and everything. People drive a long way to shop at it, as can find something you could have been looking for for years

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