The cost of raising children goes up every year. Food, housing, entertainment, and educational expenses account for a great deal of the family’s budget, of course, but wardrobe can cost a bundle, too.
From itty-bitty togs for tots to the designer brands that teenagers beg for, keeping your kids clothed is no small expense.
When funds are limited (and aren’t they always?!) there are some things that you can do to get stylish yet affordable clothing for your children.
Shop the Sales…
Even the nicest stores offer sales now and then; you’d be wise to take advantage of them.
Adorable children’s clothes are often marked down as much as 75% at the end of each season, so by planning ahead for next year, you can purchase new, first quality items at considerable savings.
Discount stores are good sources of children’s everyday clothing. Although the quality will not equal that of the department store selections, children often outgrow their clothing long before they wear it out, so discount store outfits are fine for most occasions.
Save the fancy stuff for special occasions.
Since children grow so rapidly, resale stores are often stocked with a great selection of children’s clothes, from babies’ outfits to teen fashions.
In order to find the best stuff, ask the store owner or manager which days new items are put onto the floor and plan your shopping trips to coincide with them.
By getting there right after the store is restocked, you’ll have first pick of all the newest additions.
Scour the newspaper for garage sale listings and plan to attend those that mention children’s clothing. Make an effort to arrive early for the best selections and don’t be afraid to barter.
Homeowners will often lower the price of an item if you ask.
If you have a lot of clothing that your children have outgrown, you may want to consider holding a garage sale of your own. You can use the proceeds to buy them some new things.
Friends and relatives with older children often pass down used clothing to those with younger children. By accepting their generosity, you free up your clothes shopping budget so that you can buy a few of the things that your children really want.
Be sure to return the favor as your children outgrow things; pass their clothing along to someone with little ones at home.
Many mothers organize clothing exchanges to “recycle” their children’s clothing. It is a simple idea; parents bring boxes of clean, used children’s clothing that is in good repair.
Clothing is set up on tables, sorted by size. Participating parents are then allowed to browse the tables and take home things that will fit their kids. By exchanging your children’s outgrown items, you can provide a large portion of their wardrobe for no cost at all!
Learn to Sew…
Take a class on sewing and learn to make some (or all) of your children’s clothing.
Children can help you to choose patterns and fabric so that they will have exactly what they like for a fraction of the cost of commercially manufactured clothes.