Dressing babies and toddlers is an enjoyable pastime, but it can also be an expensive one. Thankfully, we can dress our little ones in quality clothing for a much lower price than the outrageously expensive retail offerings. Here are 10 ways and places to shop and save money on infant and toddler clothing.
1. Sell your children’s used clothes for money for new clothes
Try and rid yourself of a few things that are no longer needed. You can sell good quality children’s clothing on E-bay, Craigslist, or by hosting or co-hosting a yard sale. Go through your house and see if there are unused items sitting around that would benefit someone else and then list them on Craigslist (or in your local paper) if they are large items or add them to a yard sale.
2. Shop yard sales
TONS of quality barely used or never-used baby and toddler clothing can be found at yard sales. If you live in a metropolitan area, get to know the neighborhoods so you don’t have to hunt all day for what you want. Yes, sellers may list their items in the paper, but not always in detail. And not all places sell clothes in good condition. Doing a little research can help narrow down the search area to neighborhoods with families and young kids who have a history of selling nice things at their sales.
3. Take a look at consignment shops and thrift stores
Some consignment stores are overpriced, but others are fairly reasonable for good children’s clothing and other items. For parents in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, the Kid’s Rack in Champlin, MN has a great selection and good prices. Once Upon a Child stores are usually a good bet as well. Good Will and Salvation Army stores are often a good option; occasionally brand new clothing (with sales tages still on it) is available for as little as 50 cents or a dollar.
4. Shop clearance sales
Stocking up for next year may be a bit challenging, especially if you don’t know what size your children will be the next year. If you have a large family, you can certainly benefit from buying ahead, as items may fit down the line for another child. Also, consider buying short-sleeved polo shirts or t-shirts as layering items for fall and winter; long-sleeved shirts can be layered under them for an all-season — and fashionable — look.
5. Shop the outlet malls and outlet stores
There are some great finds at the outlet mall, so take a day and shop ’til you drop! The Children’s Place Outlets will often have 99 cent hats, mittens and accessories at the end of the winter season. TJ Maxx is another excellent place to shop as they sell first-quality clothing that has been remaindered out or sold as overstock.
6. Shop for clearance items at Gymboree
Gymboree can be expensive, but it is possible to make it super affordable. Gymboree introduces new collections every 6-8 weeks. At that time, they begin to clear out their other collections, some of which are for the current season. First they are 20% off, then 40%, then 60%. Combining that with a coupon (found in some parenting magazines, sometimes through e-mail and sometimes in the mail for holders of their credit card), it will net even more savings. If ordering online, select two or three baby gift boxes, which contain a 20% off coupon. At various times each year, Gymbucks can be earned and redeemed, which is a great benefit. Gymboree clothing also sells for good money on E-bay (if you sell it right). Google for some tips if you go this route.
7. Visit Target for Infant and Toddler Clothing
Typically Target puts their children’s clothing (and other baby items) on clearance in July and January, and every week the items get marked down another 10 to 20 percent. On a recent shopping trip, we bought a pair of shoes that were originally $12.99 for only $2.48.
8. Shop at Kohl’s
At Kohl’s, the savings can really add up if you have a Kohl’s card. This will get you a coupon for 15, 20, or 30 percent off your total purchase 12 times a year. Combining this with their sale prices (and Kohl’s ALWAYS has sales), it is possible to score some great deals. During clearance time at the end of a season, clothing at Kohl’s sometimes drops to 80 or 90 percent off. Watch for opportunities to earning Kohl’s cash too — during promotions, $10 of Kohl’s cash can be earned for every $50 spent. I have combined this with sale prices and sometimes I have gotten clothes for free this way. A new way to find discounts and coupons for Kohl’s is to follow them on Facebook.
9. Look on E-bay
If you have some time on your hands, you can try hunting around on E-bay for children’s clothing. Many times bidding on a lot will save on the shipping costs, which can be high for individual items. Robeez, which are soft-soled baby shoes, are a good thing to purchase on E-bay.
10. The Sears’ KidVantage Program
Sears offers two major benefits for shoppers who sign up for the free Sears’ KidVantage Program. The first is a 15% off coupon for every $100 spent on infant and children’s clothing. The second is a “Wear Out Warranty” — Sears will replace any of their clothing if it wears out before your child outgrows it. Sign up for this program is not available online, but any Sears store associate should have the details.
Hopefully this gives you some fresh ideas on how to shop frugally for clothes for your little ones! Because although they are adorable, they grow out of their clothes too quickly and we all have better uses for our money than paying full-retail price.