Raising kids is expensive and now that I’m on boy #3, I’m not so quick to run out and spend a bundle on his clothes or other necessities. I learned some tricks from shopping for my older kids.
Shop Off-Season and Buy Ahead
If you can predict what size your child will be in next winter, there may be clearance racks in your favorite stores right now. Last spring I found fleece pants and a jacket for this winter at Gymboree for just a few dollars each.
Another way I’ve steered clear of paying full-price is buying used lots off of eBay. I look for the letters “EUC”, meaning “excellent used condition”. Then I look at the buyer’s feedback which is usually close to 100% positive feedback (meaning most or all previous customers gave the buyer high ratings) if I’m going to make the purchase.
Yard sales are very hit or miss but I did luck out a couple years ago and found someone selling a ton of clothing in my son’s size for about $1 a piece. It’s worth taking a peek and definitely a great way to get toys cheap.
A great place to find bargain kids clothes and toys is at rummage or consignment sales. See listings in your area. I’ve done pretty well at a couple of these. Selling your own used items at these sales is a great way to earn extra cash, by the way.
A place for giving/getting other’s unwanted items for free!. I’ve seen baby and kids’ clothes as well as toys and even furniture given away here. Register for your local branch here.
Currently, I’m looking for kids’ bedroom furniture. My sister found entire bedroom sets for her two kids on Craigslist for about $200 a set. I keep checking for a similar deal. The tricky part is figuring out how to transport it once we find it…
Finally, let’s remember that kids grow quickly. It seems wasteful to buy expensive clothes that will only be worn for a short time. Kmart, Walmart and Target have cute stuff for kids at reasonable prices. Only on special occasions will you find me paying full price at a department store or boutique for my little boy’s clothes.