I know. Those little jackets and party dresses at the department store are too adorable to resist. It gets even harder when you think about missing out the chance to dress up your little ones. However, designer clothing also means a family budget thrown out of the window. And in a few months, your children won’t even fit in most of them anymore. Well, our kids can look fabulous for less! These tips should help you shop smart and save money on kids’ clothes.

1. Go for Versatile Clothing Pieces

Clothing stores would usually garb mannequins in full outfits, complete with hats, shoes and accessories. This strategy, however, only encourages us to make unnecessary purchases. It’s also likely that these pieces are difficult to pair with the rest of your kids’ clothes. Here are some better alternatives:

  • Shop for individual tops and bottoms. Think mix and match. Regular denim jeans, for example, will work with almost any nice shirt or sweater.
  • Pick non-season items. Some clothing items will only look good during the holiday season. Opt for comfortable outfits that will fit most special occasions or weather conditions instead.
  • Buy gender-neutral clothing. It’s hard to pass down a pink, fluffy coat of your oldest child to her younger siblings. So, make sure to stick to navy, tan, white, grey and other similar neutral colours.
  • Be creative and accessorise. A versatile headband, beaded bracelet or cap can easily jazz up any plain outfit!

2. Wait for Discounts and Sale Season

Shopping at Target and Kmart is one way to save money on kids’ clothes as they offer multiple sales within the year. And with the right timing, you can even buy clothes from retail shops or discount stores at 60% less their original price.

That time would usually be one or two months before a season ends. So, if you’re thinking of buying winter coats for the kids, it’s best to shop at the clearance racks or wait for end-of-season sales before spring. You can also opt for outlet malls or stores offering high-end children’s clothing brands at reduced prices.

3. Size Up When Possible

Young children grow like weeds, they say. And that couldn’t be more true when growth spurt strikes. And so, at times, it is advisable to buy their clothes in bigger sizes. Sizing up on seasonal clothing like hoodies, raincoats and jackets means you won’t have to buy new ones for next year. Slightly oversized pyjamas are extra comfy, too.

4. Add Clothes to Your Wish List

Instead of giving toys as gifts, ask family and friends for clothes or shoes instead. Birthdays and holidays are more meaningful when opening up presents that your kids can use. It’s even better if the new shirt has their favourite cartoon character on it!

5. Consider Second-Hand Clothing

Second-hand clothes from garage sales, consignment shops or thrift stores are okay. As kids grow up faster, their pre-loved clothes tend to be better quality and look less worn out. Just make sure to choose wisely. Not all inexpensive or used items are a good buy, after all. Always check if they’re quality clothing, in excellent condition and easy to clean.

Alternatively, you can host a garage sale of your own to earn extra money. However, if you’re concerned about health and safety, you can organise a clothing swap among your closest mum friends instead. Little girls especially like trying on used clothing from their best friend’s closet.

6. Choose to Sew or Repurpose

For crafty mums, why not try making kids clothes from scratch? Turn curtains into skirts or bedsheets into a jumper dress. You can repurpose outgrown clothes, too. Transform your little boy’s pants into shorts or cut off the feet of his footed onesie pyjamas. Either strategy means your kids will be wearing handmade items that others won’t find anywhere else!

7. Wash Clothes Properly

If you wish to save money on kids’ clothes, make sure to launder them with care. Check the label for proper washing instructions. Separate whites from coloured clothes and air-dry them when you can. And if your kids accidentally stain them, don’t despair! Just use a stain remover or check this article out for some handy stain-removing tips. It’s advisable to have separate clothes for school and playtime, too.

8. Learn Basic Repair Skills

Finally, it helps to know simple sewing skills to extend the life of your children’s clothing. If no one in the family knows how to sew, you can always refer to online tutorials. With this life skill, you can stitch on a new button or fix a torn seam in no time. Aside from saving money, repairing clothes also helps reduce fashion waste. With a little practice, you’ll soon be spicing up clothes with cute patches!

It’s funny how small clothes can cost so much. But by making smarter choices, your kids can be the little fashionistas that they are, the pocket-friendly way!