Frugal Living

How to Afford Clothes for Your Kids

According to a 2015 report by the Department of Agriculture, a child born in 2015 was expected to cost parents $233,619. While a big chunk of that is spent on housing, food, and education, clothing is 6 percent of that cost, adding up to a whopping $14,017.14. Of course, that figure is probably even higher for a child born in 2021. And if you have multiple kids, how do you afford all that?

Fortunately, there are ways to save on children’s’ clothing to help ease that financial burden.

Hit the Sales

While there always seem to be sales somewhere, look for the big ones, like Black Friday and Back to School sales along with clearance sales. You might have to make an educated guess as to what size your child will be next winter when buying a heavy parka or snowsuit in April, but if the deal is good it’s a gamble that’s probably worth making. If they outgrow it before the season arrives you can always take it to a resale/consignment shop. Be sure to check stores like Marshalls and TJMaxx too as they tend to carry many top brands that end up in clearance just because they’re out of season.

Consignment Shops and Other Used Clothing Outlets

Buying used kids clothes is really the way to go. There are plenty of places where you can find gently-used items at a fraction of the price you’d buy new, like Wild Child Consignment and Once Upon a Child, or even online used clothing retailers. They tend to be filled with adorable, often name-brand clothes that are still in great shape and they aren’t just for infants and toddlers, many have stylish tweens and teens clothes too. Even better is that you may be able to trade in your child’s clothes for last season to help offset the total you’ll pay even more.

Take Extra Care of the Clothes They Have 

On that note, do whatever you can to take care of the clothes your kids have so that you’ll be able to bring them to a resale shop. They grow so quickly, especially as babies and toddlers, that they may have some outfits they only end up wearing once. If you save them you can make money that can be used for new clothes, or you may be able to trade them in for those gently-used outfits. As they won’t take clothing with stains, remember that the better care you take while you own them, the more you’ll get from them later.


Try to keep on top of any stains by soaking any stained garments in cold water as soon as possible for about a half an hour. Then apply some white vinegar and let the item sit for another 30 minutes before washing with bleach-safe detergent. While you’re shopping, try to look for clothes that don’t show stains and hold up well to washing too.

Make Your Own

If you don’t sew, consider learning how as it’s probably easier than you think. There’s no need for a fancy sewing machine as many patterns start by reusing old clothes or even linens. You’ll find lots of easy partners for kids’ clothes on Pinterest too.

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