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A busy mom’s guide to buying affordable clothes for kids on a budget.

Kids are expensive…there is certainly no doubt about that.

In fact, it’s estimated that the cost of raising a child through the age of 17 exceeds $233,000, and that number gets higher with each passing year.

While raising a kid will never be cheap, there are things you can do to make the cost a little bit more manageable like seeking out affordable clothes for kids.

For many parents, being smart when shopping for clothes enables them to save a significant amount of money without neglecting any of their kids’ needs. 

Kids outgrow clothes quickly, so spending a fortune to outfit them just doesn’t make sense. Simply put, there is no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes when your kids are going to outgrow them in a few months anyway.

At the same time, though, you don’t want to buy poor quality clothing that’s going to fall apart before your kids outgrow it.

The trick is scoring great deals on high-quality clothes. 

If you are a busy mom who needs some advice on buying affordable clothes for kids, then keep reading! 

Shopping for affordable clothes for kids

Make a List

If you head to the store and start shopping for clothes for your kids without putting much thought into it, you’ll probably end up spending a lot more money than necessary.

Whether it’s the beginning of the school year or you’re noticing that your child’s clothes are getting too small, sort through their closet and make a list of what they need before you go shopping. And be mindful of “needs,” too.

Your child might not need as much as you think they do.

Once you’ve figured out what they have and what they need, make a detailed list. And when you start shopping, don’t deviate from it.

Just like sticking to a list can save you money at the grocery store, sticking to this list can save you money on your kids’ clothes. 

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Size Up

Kids grow. They grow really, really fast. If you don’t want to be shopping for clothes again in a few months, consider sizing up.

This is especially true if you are trying to outfit an infant or a toddler. Little ones don’t stay in the same size for very long and constantly replacing clothes gets expensive. 

When you’re shopping for things like infant clothing and kids’ t-shirts, go up a size or two.

The garments may be a bit baggy, but they won’t be for long. Sizing up on things like blank toddler t-shirts also makes it easy to dress your child in layers.

Shop Second-hand Stores

Second-hand stores are a great way to score affordable clothes for kids for so much less than the department stores

Because kids grow so quickly, it’s common for children’s clothing to end up in secondhand stores in like-new condition.

Spend some time browsing the racks at your local thrift store or consignment shop and you’ll likely find some great deals on clothing that looks like it has never even been worn.

If you don’t have a second-hand store in your area, then another great way to score second-hand clothing is from online consignment shops. 

There are many thrift stores online that sell high quality gently worn clothes or even brand new discounted clothes for both kids and adults. Some of my favorites are Thredup and Swap.

You may be able to score some great deals at yard sales or through online classified ads, too. 

If you have friends who have kids that are around the same age as your own, you may even be able to “shop” each other’s kids’ closets.

Arrange a time to get together to swap gently used clothing. This could enable you to get some “new” clothes for your child for free, and it’s a great way to keep used clothing from ending up in landfills. 

Consignment shop with affordable clothes for kids

More ways to save money on clothes

21 Affordable Online Boutiques To Get Clothes For Cheap

15 Best Online Thrift Stores To Buy Vintage and Second-Hand Clothes

10 Brilliant Tips To Save Money On Kid’s Clothing 

Buy in Bulk

When shopping for clothing, buying in larger quantities often enables you to score better deals. If you go to a retail store, a single t-shirt could cost you quite a bit of money.

When you buy from a wholesaler, though, you could get several shirts for the exact same price. Buying t-shirts in bulk is one of the easiest ways to save money on a common wardrobe staple, but it is something that a lot of parents don’t think of. 

When you order clothing in bulk, you can usually order different sizes. This means that, in a single order, you can get the t-shirts, polos, sweatshirts, etc. that your child will need for several years to come.

And when you do, you could end up spending less on several garments than you would spend on a single piece from your local clothing store. 

Shop for Unisex Clothes

If you have multiple kids, hand-me-downs are a lifesaver. You can buy clothes once and pass them down to subsequent kids as your older ones outgrow them.

This can be tricky, though, if your oldest child is a girl and the next in line is a boy. If you outfit your daughter in sparkly tutus and frilly dresses, the whole hand-me-down thing isn’t going to work. 

When your kids are little, there’s really no need to buy them gendered clothing. Instead, stick with unisex garments that can be passed down from one child to the next.

Things like t-shirts, hoodies, and polos all come in unisex styles and colors that are appropriate for both boys and girls. 

Conclusion: Affordable Clothes for Kids

Parenting is expensive. And outfitting your kids is one of those expenses that come up over and over again. While you can’t keep your kids from growing, there are things that you can do to make dressing them a bit more affordable.

From buying wardrobe staples in bulk and sizing up so that garments fit longer to shopping secondhand stores and buying unisex clothing that can be passed down through your family, there are all sorts of things that busy moms like yourself can do to save some money. 

Dressing your kids doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Be realistic about what they need and shop smart–and you will be able to keep them looking great without breaking the bank. 

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Affordable Clothes for Kids