How to dress up your kids on a budget

How to dress up your kids on a budget

Nice, school, and play clothes are the three categories that most parents define as a proper wardrobe for a child. Nice clothes are for special occasions, pictures, and church. School clothes are the trendy, expensive, and many times the down fall of any budget. Play clothes are meant to be used and abused with the most wear and tear. The savvy shopper learns quickly how to afford a complete wardrobe for a child on a budget.

Thrift stores are a fun and exciting way to add great clothing, shoes, hats, gloves, scarves, hair accessories, coats, sport pants, back packs, purses, swim suits, dance wear, and costumes to the every changing needs of your child. A great many thrift stores are for non-profit organizations, and the money you spend has an added benefit of helping their cause. Ask what days the shelves are stocked, to better your odds of finding the best bargains.

A local newspaper will head you in the right direction of inexpensive clothing on a sunny weekend. Circle all the garage sales in your area and put them in order of the closest to the furthest from your home. A savvy shopper will not spend a fortune in gas to rummage through other’s cast offs. Do not be afraid to ask if they will take less than the item is marked. If you do not make the garage sale circuit early in the morning, most people will sell their items for next to nothing in the late afternoon. They do not want to pack it all up. Be patient and take the time to go through all the stacks of clothing. It is not a retail situation and some do not have the best organizational ways of selling their items. If it is too overwhelming for you to tackle by yourself, invite friends to car pool with you. The more the merrier.

Mark your ca lender for the yearly clearance sales at department stores. Larger retailers place their summer apparel on sale the first weekend in July. Upscale children specialty boutiques place summer wear at fifty percent off on the first weekend in August. This is the same date that Macys, Kohls, Dillards , J.C. Pennys, and Sears reduces prices to seventy five percent off. Check the local paper for additional coupons and percentage off rebates the Sunday before the sale.

Networking can be a huge asset to your children’s wardrobe. Let the parents of those at the ball field, dance class, P.T.A., scout meeting, work, etc. know the sizes of your children. Return the favor with the clothing that your precious little one has outgrown. Hand me downs can be a great way to fill your closets.

With today’s economy on a slowdown, parents need to budget themselves when it comes to purchasing clothing for their children. Gas prices are nearing $4 per gallon and the price of milk, bread and even rice is skyrocketing. You still want your child to wear nice clothing, however with other life necessities taking precedence, you need to prioritize and budget.

I can tell you that as the mother of three children, two of whom are twins, I have learned quite a few tricks to buying nice, brand name clothing on a serious budget. You can dress your child up in stylish clothes without breaking the bank.

First and foremost, check out different websites and catalogs to see what the "style" is for children today. There is nothing more life shattering (in the eyes of a 13 year old) than wearing outdated clothes. Yes mom thought she was getting a deal on those pink leg warmers but your pre teen daughter is mortified to wear them. By checking out websites, catalogs and the sales papers you will be able to determine what is "in" for the season.When shopping for my children, the first resource I look into is Ebay, the most popular online auction site. Usually you can snag good deals on name brand clothing for half the price. Sometimes people will even list their child’s whole wardrobe online as a "lot", where you will get quite a few outfits at a really good deal. Almost every company releases coupons to the public so they will shop at their store and still save money. However, in order to obtain these money saving cards, you will need to be on their mailing lists.

Go to websites that are popular for children’s clothes, such as The Children’s Place, Gymboree, and Old Navy. They usually mail coupons as well as email online coupon codes to their subscribers. Gymboree even has a promotion they run twice per year called "gymbucks" where you spend a certain amount at their store and you get "bucks" which essentially is money off your next purchase. These add up and in no time you can score $100 worth of clothing for $50 or less. If you are shopping online, be sure to do a google search for coupon codes such as "online coupon codes." Sometimes these codes are floating around the Internet and you can save with promotions such as free shipping or a certain percentage off the total price. During the spring and summer months, you can usually drive out on any Saturday morning and find yard sales. People sell their unwanted items for pennies; literally.

Writer: Haymes


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