As frugal parents, we all want to get great kids’ clothes while spending less money. Planning ahead and buying kids’ clothes in advance is a thrifty way to get more for your money.
We talked about how to save 90% off kids’ clothes by shopping thrift stores out of season last week. To make this strategy work, you’ll have to make an estimate of what size your child will be wearing at a certain point in time. Always guess a bigger size instead of smaller, and if the clothes happen to be a bit too big, they’ll be able to grow into them.
The store sales and clearance schedule below lists the best times and places to buy kids’ clothes for the best price. “Do not buy” indicates when the clothes will be at their highest prices of the year. Bookmark or print out this list for future reference. To all you mommy bloggers- if you like this list and think it will be helpful to others, please link to it for your readers! The permalink is:
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Kids’ School Clothes
Buy long-sleeved shirts, jeans, pants, sweaters and other fall / winter type kids’ clothes in spring and summertime. The best time to buy school clothes is April or May, when stores are trying to make room for summer clothes.
- Best time to buy at thrift stores: spring and summer.
- Do not buy: August or September.
- Retail store clearance time: April, May.
For the best prices on kids’ Halloween costumes, look for them to appear at thrift stores all year round or at garage sales during the summer. Consignment stores are a great source for cheap Halloween costumes as well.
- Best time to buy at thrift stores: November-August.
- Do not buy: September or October.
- Retail store clearance time: November 1st-7th
Christmas Costumes and Themed Outfits
Retail stores start putting out cute kids’ Christmas outfits, like santa suits and elf costumes, around Thanksgiving time, but you’ll pay the highest prices possible if you buy them then and there. eBay stores have super clearance sales on kids’ Christmas clothing the week after Christmas.
Christmas and Holiday Dresses and Suits
Watch for holiday suits and dresses year round at thrift stores and in eBay auctions to get the best price. A fantastic time to shop for discounted formal wear is at the end of the summer wedding season on eBay or in newspaper classified ads. At that time, all the kids’ suits and dresses from being in the wedding party are cheap to buy 2nd hand from people that no longer need them.
Kids coats, snowpants, snowsuits, gloves, hats, and scarves may appear at thrift stores out of season at unbelievably low prices. Check bagged items (in which similar small items are bagged together for one low price) at the thrift store for cheap gloves and hats. Also check garage and yard sales during summer for cheap deals on kids’ winter gear.
Easter Dresses and Suits, Church Clothes
Formal dresses and suits for kids can be very expensive, almost matching the prices of adults’ clothes! Just like holiday formal wear, the best time to shop for discounted kids’ Easter clothes or church clothes is at the end of the summer wedding season. The formal kids’ dresses and suits from weddings are usually high-quality and made from heavy-duty fabrics that will hold up well to heavy wear.
Tank tops, swim suits, shorts, capris, and summer dresses are best bought out of season at consignment shops and thrift stores. Garage sales in summer are a great place to find kids’ summer clothes for as low as 25 cents each! Around back to school time or early winter, check Craigslist and eBay for huge lots of kids’ summer clothes for rock-bottom prices from parents who are decluttering.
Winter photo by by fotologic. Santa suit photo of Truett Ice-Simmons ©Danelle Ice/IS World Media.