4 ways that we spend less on baby clothes
This post is part of the Frugal Parenting series with Taya and Lori.
One thing that I wasn’t worried about when I was pregnant with our first child was how we would pay for baby clothes – I knew there were so many ways to get them for next to nothing.
It is incredibly easy to overspend on cute outfits, shoes they will likely never wear and hats that they always seem to hate on their head – but you really don’t have to. There are so many easy ways to purchase baby clothes very inexpensively.
Below are 4 ways that we spend less on baby clothes.
1. Thrift stores
These stores are a goldmine for infant clothing at low prices. I can’t remember ever walking into a thrift store and paying more than $2 for an article of baby clothing. Sometimes I even got lucky and found brand new items with the tags still attached!
Talize is my favorite thrift store for kid’s clothes, as I find that they have the best selection. They also have 50% off sales quite often. This is usually when I will shop there.
2. Yard sales
Another great place to buy baby clothes is from yard sales. I found lots of fantastic bargains when I was pregnant the first time – often paying $0.50 or less per item if I bought them in lots.
I find that most sellers will give you a pretty good discount if you buy more than 10 pieces, so this is what I would do in order to save the most amount of money.
I got a ton of brand name clothing items for my son at low, low prices by shopping at yard sales!
3. Passing them down
Every time my son grew out of an article of clothing, I would pack it away in bins, because I knew we wanted to have more children and it just made sense to pass down the clothing to them (especially if we had another boy).
Well, 2 years after we had our son Elliott, I became pregnant again. Halfway through the pregnancy, we found out we would be having a girl and it was the day after my ultrasound that I started going through all of Elliott’s old clothing to see what we could use for our little lady.
Thankfully we received a lot of neutral clothing at Elliott’s baby shower, so I had plenty to start with for our baby girl.
4. Sharing with friends
A few of my good friends that had boys gave me some clothing when Elliott was born, and when they eventually had more babies of their own, I gave the clothing back so that they could use it again, too.
With Kaylee, our baby girl, one of my friends continuously gives me huge bags of baby girl clothing as her baby grows out of them. If she has another baby girl, she will be able to use all of those clothes again. If she has a boy, she can use all of Elliott’s baby boy clothes. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Because babies grow so quickly, they don’t usually have a chance to “ruin” their clothes, which makes reusing them with other babies such an easy way to save on clothing costs.
Infant clothing is one of those expenses that are necessary, but it doesn’t have to be costly.
By avoiding high-end clothing stores and passing them down, sharing, and buying used, it’s not difficult to spend less on baby clothes. Save your pennies for the more expensive baby items (such as a crib or car seat).
Both of Frugal Dads parents and mine think that we care about baby clothes too much. Me, I can’t resist the cute little outfits, the real-people like clothes and adorable tees. I shop online a lot to save checking out the clearance deals and ordering a bunch when there are free shipping events (or stores that always offer free shipping). I scour the kids clothes racks at Gap Factory store and get T-shirts for $3-4 combining sales. When I see an awesome tee, I pick the next size up too. In the summer, Winners Final clearance is a great place to find a few items, but it’s a bit too much work for my liking. I’m lazy (; haha.
We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of friends who started having kids a few years before we did and we are always receiving bags of hand-me-downs in really great shape! I pick out what we can use and donate the rest. My son (who’s almost 5) is now getting to the age that the boy he receives hand-me-downs from is starting to be much harder on his clothes, and as a result we have been finding the need to purchase more. However, over the past 5 years, our friends have saved us hundreds (possibly thousands?) of dollars in clothing! We are very fortunate!
A great way to get longer wear out of clothes is to turn jeans that either have holes in the knees, or are too short, into shorts. Simply cut and fray or roll into cuffs. Dresses can become tunics worn over leggings.
You can also take those never worn, barely worn items to a consignment store. If you’re like me there’s no time to have a yard sale or tag all those clothes from a community one. Where I go the owner will either give you the cash or keep a credit on your account to make your own purchases in the shop. I try to wait for sales at the consignment shop to get great prices.
Have less. Really, when you are doing laundry every day or almost, you really don’t need that many clothes! When I was trying to hurdle a mountain of laundry I realized that if I had that many clothes that I could have that much to do, we had too much. I stopped buying anything for the kids and they simply kept outgrowing things until I got down to a manageable amount that could all be put away in their dressers.
Shop sales, avoid brand names, accept any and all hand-me-downs. They grow through clothes so quickly, especially when they are young.
I also buy almost all second hand, and shop end-of-season sales online or instore for deals on what I can’t find second hand.
We don’t have a lot of people who can pass us clothes, but I happily accept anything that comes our way, and then pass things either back to the original owner or on to someone else.
I do select some high items in very good shape to consign, so I can use the store credit to offset future purchases of things for my girls. And occasionally I will sell a higher-value item like snowsuits, boots, etc. myself so I don’t have to share the profit with a consignment shop, but for the smaller items it’s worth it to get less per item but have the shop do all the work for me.
Way back when my kids, nieces and nephews were all small we had quite the exchange going on just in the family! My oldest boy was the oldest of that crop. His stuff went to one sister-in-law for her boy (17 months younger) then rolled down to the other sister-in-law for Her boy…. and so on. The kids in order of age were Phillip(mine), Jesse, Sara(mine), Greg, Jennifer, then Nicole and Raymond(mine again). The last two are a week apart in age. Toss in a couple of cousins and their kids and we had clothes making the rounds at a good clip. My sisters-in-law had no problems buying nice stuff for my kids as they knew the clothes would roll back their way in time….
Mom to Mom sales! – Always find brand name stuff with moms just wanting to get rid of piles of it! At least one or two in my small town
– Also always skim through the children’s section at the grocery section for sales…always reducing things…get a lot of very cute sweaters, pants etc from $16.00, $18.00 to $2.94 …can’t beat that!