One of the most expensive things about having a kid is clothes. Or at least it can be. but in the beginning when they are growing and going through clothes quickly, the purchases can add up. If you have more than one boy or girl you can often pass down many of the items (unless you have a child like my Owen and then you toss about 50% of the clothes sadly). But that first child still needs clothes. And I don't know how to sew (learning is on my to do list, but that list is about 6 miles long at the moment) So how do I do it without spending a fortune and still have my kids in cute clothes?
The best is through hand me downs. These are free and free is my favorite price. The only downfall to hand me downs is sometimes they are not the style of clothes that I like, but free is free!
The second best way to find inexpensive clothes is through tag sales. I LOVE tag sales when I have time to go to them. With three kids, and one of them only 6 weeks old and nursing every three hours or so, I don't often get out of the house early on a Saturday morning, especially not by myself. But when I can get to a tag sale I am always on the lookout for clothes for my kids. In season or not, the right size or a size or two bigger, I will buy it. I can usually get items for $1 or for 50 cents. I did spend $4 on an LL Bean vest for Madeline and one for Owen and normally I would not pay this much but they are in like new condition so it was still a steal.
The third way to buy clothes inexpensively is through a cosignment shop. We often shop at Once Upon a Child. One thing I like about this store is that they inspect clothes before buying them so I don't need to (like I would at a tag sale) . I often get things from Baby Gap, Lands End, and other expensive name brands very inexpensively because they are second hand. but they are in perfect condition! I do't buy things based on name brands, but I ahve found that some of the mmore expensive clothes last longer. So when I can get them second hand I do try and buy them. I bought Owen's winter coat there last year for $8 and it was like new.
The last way I buy kids clothes is to shop sales. I buy new clothes, but I never pay full price. I either shop with a coupon, shop on a sale day or buy from the clearance rack. I often buy off season when I buy from the clearance rack but most of the time I can guess the size my child will be in the following year. Last year I bought Owen two bathing suits and one swim shirt for a total of $7 at the end of the summer. He was wearing 12 months at the time so I bought 2T and they fit prefectly this summer. If I had to buy the items new it would have cost me at least $25 if not more. I buy new outfits at Christmas each year, it is my one clothing splurge for the kids but I still never pay full price. Last year I bought the outfits at Macy's- they were marked down 75% and I opened a Macy's credit card for more savings. I got a dress for Madeline (originally $85) and an outfit for Owen (originally $50) for a total of $25.
I have found success with buying clothes on craigslist but this often involves driving to someone's house and usually costs more than a tag sale. Often people sell bags of clothes so I end up buying things I don't want or need. I bought a bag of girls clothes for Madeline a few years ago, and I liked about 85% of the items. This way can work, but you need to be selective.
Freecycle sometimes has clothes as well. I scored a bag of shirts and pajamas for Owen at the end of winter. But you have to act quick with freecycle, becuase good kids clothes go quickly.
How do you find your kids clothes without breaking the bank?