Children grow out of their clothes so quickly, it’s easy to spend an arm and a leg on brand new items every few months. But you don’t have to empty your wallet on cute kid clothes in order to make sure your little one looks sharp at school or in the photos you’re going to show off at family gatherings. There are tons of ways to save money on kids’ clothing if you know where to look and how to use them, which is why we put together this list of tips that will help you get the best deals on children’s clothing online.
1) Know Where to Look
The best deals are often found online and in off-season sales. When it comes to clothes for children, you can sometimes find good prices for next season’s clothing items by stocking up at closeout sales.
Buying used is another way of getting quality children’s clothing that won’t break your budget, but make sure you know what you’re buying. You may also want to search sites like eBay or Craigslist for additional savings as well as local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups.
2) Watch Out for Expiration Dates
Kids grow fast and kids’ clothing stores go through inventory quickly. If you don’t plan ahead and take advantage of sales (like those last-minute Easter deals), you could miss out on buying a season’s worth of clothes at an amazing price. Watch out for price tags that say limited or final sale, though—it means that item is about to be phased out, so it probably won’t be available next time around. Plan ahead by keeping a running list of what your children need, then stock up when they’re going out of style or marked down during a holiday sale. Or, in some cases, sign up for email alerts from specific companies that offer regular discounts and free shipping.
3) Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Although children grow out of their clothes fast, many parents still buy a lot of clothing in bulk. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, try buying fewer pieces of clothing but choosing higher-quality items that will last longer and keep your child more comfortable. If you are shopping online, look for pieces made with organic or sustainable fabrics because they usually hold up better over time. Also consider secondhand options; there is no need to spend big bucks on new clothes when you can get high-quality used items for cheaper prices.
4) Avoid Seasonal Sales Traps
Instead of trying to catch a deal, focus on long-term savings. If you buy clothes just because they’re cheap, you’ll probably end up with a lot of things that don’t fit your kids and won’t get worn for years—and that are then suddenly worth nothing at all. Instead, focus on buying quality clothes from stores like Land’s End or Orvis, which has its own subscription service so customers get new clothes every season.
These brands make durable clothing that last over multiple seasons without needing constant replacement. The price tag is often steep at first but it will pay off over time with fewer replacements and ultimately less waste in landfills.
5) Leave Your Kids Out of It
Whether you’re buying from a department store or independent retailer, do not add your children into the equation. It is tempting for parents to buy items that are cute, but keep in mind that kids grow quickly and what fits now may be too small later. Leave your kids out of it and focus solely on getting quality clothing at a good price. The cheaper price may end up costing you more when they grow out of them before they can wear them. Think of how much money you could save if you bought clothes that were durable and lasted longer without becoming damaged due to repeated wear and tear?
6) Stick With Your Shopping List
If you’re anything like me, you love looking through clothing racks for new items. The problem is that shopping can quickly get out of control when you go into clothes-shopping with a toddler in tow.
Even if your child isn’t tugging at your sleeve, they may see something they want and will start whining in their high-pitched voice. When you finally give in and let them buy something—just one more piece of clothing!—you’ll pay up big time at checkout. Don’t even get me started on clearance sections… Instead, come up with a shopping list before going out for an afternoon of bargain hunting; otherwise, you’ll end up buying items that have nothing to do with what was actually on your list!
7) Shop in Stores First, Online Later
While children’s clothing often comes with a heftier price tag than adults’, you don’t have to give in or break the bank. Think about it: Did you ever think twice about buying your 6-year-old a new outfit when he outgrew his old one? If he can grow into his clothes, go ahead and buy them. But if they are too small next time around, make sure you check online; many online retailers offer deals that beat what you might find at specialty stores. It never hurts to look around first!
8) Keep an Eye Out For Coupons
Fashion and kids’ clothing can be pricey. If you have a teen or tween, they’re likely growing at a rapid pace. The last thing you want is for them to outgrow their clothing before they get a chance to wear it.
Luckily, there are plenty of coupons that offer discounts or additional money off during your purchase. Keep an eye out for daily deal sites like Groupon and Daily Deal, as well as printable coupons found in magazines and newspapers near your local grocery store. Target has also recently introduced Cartwheel where you can grab digital deals when shopping online for children’s clothes.
9) Use Rental Options
Most parents are shocked by how much money they end up spending on baby clothing. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend with a baby around your child’s age, take advantage of their excess clothes.
You can either borrow items for special occasions or rent out for those first few months when everything is spit-up covered. You could also trade used children’s clothing with other friends and family members. Amazon has a pretty great Baby & Kids section that you can use as well. If you buy gently used items from them, Amazon will give you store credit for what it’s worth and discount your next purchase by 15%. This is a good way to get new children’s clothing without spending too much money.
10) Consider Thrift Shops, Consignment Stores and eBay
Buying children’s clothing used or gently used can be a great way to save money. If you have access to thrift stores, consignment shops or eBay, buying gently used is a smart move. This can also help avoid missing items from your child’s wardrobe. While you may not think much about what others do with their old clothes, it’s likely that these items are only going into someone else’s child’s closet as well. Buying new isn’t always better; just make sure you wash everything before putting it on your child for their first use.