Kids Clothes on a Dime
By Shannon M. Medisky
If you have children, then you’ve likely got a hefty turnover of clothing, too. Whether due to those growing spurts that seem to happen overnight, the many, many stains that magically find their way onto your children’s clothing never to leave or due to just plain normal wear and tear, keeping up with a child’s clothing needs can be downright costly. Fortunately, though, there are a plethora of ways to help keep your kiddo(s) clothed and more money in your pocket at the same time.
Anticipate your child(ren)’s future clothing needs. As sure as the sun rises and sets, so will your child(ren) continue to grow. Anticipate and prepare for this fact when and where the opportunity to do so presents itself with savings attached. Take a few extra minutes to peruse the clearance racks and your local thrift store for the next few sizes up. You know your child(ren) will eventually need it. Why not pick it up now while you can get it at a savings? Not only will you stretch your clothing dollar, but you’ll pat yourself on the back later when you’re not left running out to shop with a kiddo in tow that’s not in the mood! Worried about storing your “sprout up” stash? Find creative storage solutions such as a plastic bin placed at the bottom of a closet or box tucked neatly under a bed.
Skip “hand me downs” and opt for “encore attire,” instead. Who would like to wear worn out, stained and “re-run” old clothing? Why expect your child to? Before tucking away clothing that’s to be saved for the next child in line, do a quick once over to repair any small tears or lose buttons. Are the knees wearing thin in jeans? Consider ironing on patches as a reinforcement to the inside of the pants. Your child will likely be much more apt to embrace wearing them, and you’ll substantially lengthen their usability, too. Found a stubborn stain on a perfectly good shirt that still looks as good as new? Consider a soak in a gentle, but powerful stain-releasing, oxygen-powered cleaner. A few cents worth of cleaner, a bit of patience and a quick run through the laundry could render the shirt better than new! After all, it’s already been broken in!
Compound your savings on clothing whenever possible. Some thrift shops and secondhand stores run special sales on specific days. Find out in advance of these opportunities and prepare to take advantage. Additionally, some retail chains offer special “limited time only” coupons and discounts that can be used on top of existing sale and/or clearance prices. Keeping an eye on your favorite store’s sales flier and strategically choosing when you shop for clothing can pay off in a very big way.
As with adults, shop for children off-season whenever possible. While it can be difficult to gauge exactly what size your child will be a year later, if you’re willing to take a calculated risk it can pay off big time in the form of paying mere pennies on the dollar for brand new clothing. Clearance and discount racks become jam-packed with cheap clothing as the end of each season draws near and retailers scramble to make room for the next year’s stock. Take advantage of this and stock up for your child’s next year needs now.
To keep more money with you, whenever possible, leave the kids at home. If you have kids—and if you’ve read this article, it’s a pretty safe bet that you do—this last tip is self-explanatory. No whining “Are we done yet?” “When can we go?” “But I…” Yeah, you get the idea. Now, opt to keep more of your money and your sanity by keeping the kiddos at home.
Photo credit: solbaby
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