The cost of clothes for a family of five can be quite high. There are quite a few ways to save money on clothing. Here are some of the best ways I’ve learned to save a few dollars on clothing for us and for the kids.
1. The best tip is to train yourself to think “in advance”. Last minute purchases will always cost more. Maximize your money by planning out as far as possible what your clothing needs are and then searching for those items on sale or clearance, at a garage sale or thrift store.
2. Shop for sales on clothes. I check the Sunday newspaper for sales but I also watch the local stores that I shop often for when they are clearing clothing. For the kids, I look to buy the sizes for the next year. I can find some especially good bargains when shopping the “end of season” sales. For example when the winter clothes are clearanced out, I look for stuff for my kids for the next year and purchase clothes in the sizes that they will be wearing the next year. I then put these clothes into storage bins either under their beds or in the closets. I do leave the tags on because that way they feel like they are getting new clothes! I do the same thing for shoes. I purchase the next sizes for the kids and try to make a good guess as to what sizes they will be in during the next year’s seasons. I’ve had great success using this method by shopping at Target, WalMart, Payless, Kohl’s, Dillards, JCPenny, and Sears.
3. Shop at Garage Sales. In my area, garage sales are a usually held in the Spring and the Fall. There are many neighborhoods that will have a community sale. I can usually get to 10 to 15 houses per neighborhood sale. I have found lots of great deals on kids clothes this way. Even better, when I find a lot of clothes for my kids at a Spring garage sale, I make a note of which neighborhood and which house. Then I make sure I visit that neighborhood/house at the Fall garage sales because usually their kids will have outgrown more clothes which would be just right for my own children. I even had one lady offer to call me when her child had outgrown clothes so I could see if there was anything I wanted. It was a win-win situation. I could find great clothes for my child and she would make more money than if she took her stuff to a consignment store.
4. Consignment stores and thrift stores. This method entails more time but can definitely pay off. To find the great deals you have to go often and the earlier in the morning the better. I used to make the “Saturday morning rounds” as I would call them. I could make 2 thrift stores and a consignment store in just a couple of hours. Again, I used the technique described above. I looked for sizes for the kids for the next year.