Dress Your Kids for Less
Moms and Dads, pay attention! While it’s tempting to outfit your children in old T-shirts until they stop growing, spilling, and tearing, the reality is they require a good amount of clothing. And since we know it’s hard to part ways with money to purchase clothing that typically has a short shelf life, we’ve gathered some handy tips to help cut costs. Read on to see how you can keep your kids dressed without losing the shirt off your back.
- Carry a store credit card: Yes, we said it. As long as you don’t abuse it, a store credit card can be a useful tool for saving. Most stores offer great incentives to keep you coming back, and will send coupons for future visits, card holder promotions, birthday deals, and even rewards. The trick is to always have cash to back up your purchases, and pay the balance off in full immediately after each shopping trip.
- Shop off-season: This is when you will find the biggest markdowns. For example, come March most retailers will want to move winter apparel out of the store. This is the perfect time to stock up on coats, sweaters, and boots. Just remember to size up, as your growing children will be a different size 8 or 9 months from now. If you misjudge the fit, you can sell the clothes on Ebay and make your money back (or even a profit). A new sweater you got for 50 percent off could go for close to full price come winter. Just keep the tags on in the meantime.
- Ask for hand-me-downs: Don’t ever be too shy to ask fellow moms and dads with older children for hand-me-downs. All parents know the cost of outfitting children, and they are usually more than happy to help out. You could even take it a step further and organize a neighborhood clothing exchange, where outgrown clothing is collected and redistributed as needed.
- Play clothes are play clothes: Obviously children are more likely to destroy clothing during play time than while at school. This is why it’s a good idea to assign each piece of clothing a purpose, as it will save nicer clothing from the fate of spills and tears. Divide your child’s closet or drawers according to each purpose so he or she can easily choose the right clothing for the right occasion (school, play, church, dress).
- Quality matters: Sturdy clothes last longer, and are more resistant to stains or ripping. This doesn’t mean you should go for the most expensive piece; rather, opt for good sales on trusted brands rather than lesser-quality bargain stores.
- Get creative: Are your child’s jeans too short but still fit at the waist? Add some length with extra pieces of fabric. If the knees wore out, then patch them up with old T-shirts or sweaters that no longer fit. Another way to get more wear of out your child’s clothing is to look for pieces that allow for growth, such as elastic waistbands or adjustable straps. If you get creative, there’s a number of ways to make sure those clothes last more than a season.