Keeping Kids In-Style Without Breaking the Bank


Whew! Kids are expensive! Diapers, food, toys, clothes. So many clothes. 

It never fails, you finally get enough clothes for your child in the appropriate size for the season, and boom – they grow 3 inches overnight and nothing fits. A quick look at your checking account and you wonder exactly how you’re going to purchase a whole new wardrobe.


As a mom of three young kids, I feel like I’m constantly trying to gather clothes for all of them. Here are a few of my favorite money-saving tips that help me stay ahead of the game.


I truly get excited when friends or family offer me hand-me-downs. Nothing is easier on the budget than free clothes. Also, all three of my kids are girls, so hand-me-downs from one sibling to the next definitely help out. I keep tote bins of clothes as one child outgrows a size for the next one.

After-Season Clearance

One of my favorite ways to save money on clothes is by shopping the after-season clearance section. This takes a little more thought and planning because I have to estimate what size the kids will be in for that season the next year. I also have to really make sure I’m taking into consideration their likes. My girls love leggings. If I see a really good deal on jeans, I’ll pass because more than likely, they won’t wear them anyways. This is also a great way to supplement my younger kids’ hand-me-downs.

My oldest loves everything pink, mermaid and tie-dyed. My middle one loves purple, cats and camo. My youngest’s favorite color is blue and loves Minnie Mouse. Getting a few pieces that are specific to their likes help supplement the hand-me-downs (R.I.P clothes that have been through mud puddles) and also make each child feel special. Last week, I got some cute leggings and character tees for less than $3 a piece. The shirts are long-sleeved so they won’t wear them for a while but they are ready for this fall. I also am sure to look for holiday styles in clearance sections. People aren’t usually looking for Christmas clothes in January or red, white and blue clothes in August. Retailers tend to discount those quickly to move them out. I’ll buy them after-season in the next size up and the girls are holiday-ready the next year.

Also, be sure to join mailing lists for your favorite stores so you’re sure to get alerted when there are clearance deals. I always keep an eye out for Children’s Place clearance specials.  I love their mix-and-match style and when I can catch them at 60-70 or even 80% off, I can get quite a few outfits for a little bit of money.

Rewards and Discounts

I take full advantage of discounts and rewards programs whenever I can. When I use my Target debit card, I automatically save 5% off my purchases. The Target Circle app often offers an extra percentage off kids’ clothes. When I shop at Kohl’s, I use coupons and earn Kohl’s Cash toward future purchases. Be sure to check into rewards programs at your favorite retailer.


Thrift stores, resale shops and garage sales are another great way to get clothes at a discounted rate. Sometimes you even stumble upon brand new or barely worn items at a fraction of the original price. I once found a Speedo brand life preserver-style swimsuit when our girls were babies at a Once Upon a Child store. It still had the original tags on it, valued at almost $50. I purchased it for less than $5!

These are my favorite tips; what are yours? Be sure to share your tips! What was your favorite bargain find?