According to Livestrong.com, parents spend approximately 6 percent of their monthly income on clothing for their children. Involvement in sports, rapidly growing kids, or a child who needs specialty sizes can dramatically increase that cost. It can be frustrating seeing so much of your money spent on clothing that is quickly outgrown or never used.
Here are some tips for having well-dressed kids on a budget:
Buy at the end of the season
With some careful guesswork, you can buy last season's clothes for pennies on the dollar. For example, if you see a sale on winter coats in the spring, you can buy up in the sizes your children will require next year and save yourself a ton of money in the future. You can also look for free shipping codes online at places like Discountrue, and save time going into the store at all! Don't be worried if the items are a bit large, especially for outerwear items that will likely be worn in layers.
Take advantage of coupons and in-store rewards cards
While you want to carefully read all the fine print, there are huge savings to be had by signing up for coupons or even using an in-store rewards program. This is especially helpful for families that buy a lot of items from one particular retailer. If you find yourself returning to the same store again and again, it might be worth it to take advantage of points programs, loyalty cards and coupon offers, as the savings can be significant.
Learn to do some minor tailoring
If you can hem a pair of too-long pants or skirts, you can let the hems down as your child grows, saving you both time and money. If you can replace a broken zipper or sew on some buttons that have come loose, you can save the entire replacement cost of the garment. Learning these simple skills can translate into hefty savings and can also help save favored clothing your child prefers. There are many videos online you can look up to get started. You can also find local sewing classes for beginners.
Thrift stores and consignment shops can be treasure troves for kids' clothing, unworn shoes, toys and other items. Find out if second-hand stores in your area offer up discounts on certain days, or if they offer a rewards card for frequent purchases. As long as you launder the items properly, there is no reason not to buy gently used items. No one will know the difference, and your wallet will thank you.
Saving money on kids' clothing can be a challenge, but by keeping these tips in mind, you can have well-dressed children at a fraction of retail prices.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. She graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of New Mexico and loves to use her writing skills in a variety of areas from family life to health and science topics. You can follow her on twitter @BrookeChaplan