1. Go on deal days: Target usually slashes kids’ clothing prices on Mondays; Old Navy and Gap often mark down items midweek. Keep in mind that most major retailers offer price adjustments, so ask for one if an item goes on sale soon after you purchased it.
2. Be counterintuitive: By shopping the sales at the end of each season for the following year, you’ll pay a fraction of the full retail price.
3. Thrift and consignment stores usually allow you to sell your own kids’ clothes for credit at the store, which can reduce or eliminate your bill entirely. Look for national retailers Once Upon a Child, Kid to Kid or Children’s Orchard.
4. Shop the sales: For even deeper discounts at consignment stores, keep up with current promotions near you at consignmentmommies.com.
6. Shop alone: Curb impulse buys at the mall by leaving the kids at home when you go.
7. Buy clothes that will last: To get the most bang for your buck, look for items in classic colors and patterns that are likely to match your child’s current wardrobe. Avoid trendy pieces that will look dated before they wear out.
8. Don’t overbuy: How many times have you cleaned out your daughter’s bulging dresser only to find clothes she never wore before she outgrew them? Weed out clothing regularly to keep the selection easily accessible, and once your kids have enough clothes in their size, stop buying.
9. Join the moms club: Check out mothersandmore.org—it’s a great resource for connecting with other moms in your area for advice, child care and play groups, and to buy, sell or swap kids’ items.
10. Wash and wear: Whether you buy new or used clothes, be sure to launder them before kids put them on.