Shopping for clothes for my family can easily add up since there are six of us. The same amount of money that could buy a full summer wardrobe for our oldest daughter when she was a baby, can only buy a couple of shirts and shorts for each of our four kids now. And they grow so quickly!
Since we have a small budget for clothes, I have had to come up with a few tricks to stretch our money in the clothing department after shopping at my local Family Dollar, I have come up with a few tips to help you that I found useful.
Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales
At the beginning of each new season I try to go shopping and look for what my kids need. I usually buy some things from the clearance rack from the previous season for the next year. But I also shop for what they need for the next season and take advantage of sales. Right now, for example, Family Dollar has a Buy One Get 50% off sale for summer clothes for the whole family. This sale is only available for a limited time. And it’s a good opportunity to stock up and get your summer wardrobe ready in advance (prices good Thursday, April 28-Saturday, May 7, 2016). Planning ahead to search for deals is usually a great money-saving strategy!
Another – tip that helps me is if I find a great price on something, and my kids don’t need it at the moment, I buy a size up and save it for the next season in a bin I have for each child. That way, when the time comes for my monthly date with my kids’ closet I have a stash of clothes with the next size up and I don’t have to run to the store to buy a full wardrobe.
We gladly accept hand me downs from cousins and friends, especially for my youngest. I usually don’t buy clothes at thrift stores because I have found that the time I spend looking for something is not worth it for me, and the prices are not that great (at least where I live) since I can find new clothes for the same amount of money on sale and at clearance racks. The clothes we are wearing in the pictures, we were able to buy for very low prices at Family Dollar! Aren’t they cute?
Also, find a friend or relative with kids around your kids’ ages and exchange clothes when you see each other. Some pieces of clothing that you might not like can always be donated. And if you have clothes that don’t fit your kids anymore, give them to someone else with kids that wear a smaller size.
Have a monthly date with your kids’ closet
Every 4-6 weeks I go through my kids’ clothes and see what fits, what doesn’t fit, what they need and what they have too much of. I go through the bins of clothes I save for each of them with the next size up and see what fits. I, then, make a list of what each of them needs.
My list usually includes basic articles of clothing. For example, my boys always have khakis, jean shorts, and plain t-shirts that can be mixed and matched with what they have for that season, as well as one or two new nice shirts (or dresses, for the girls). I always try to buy things that can be matched with at least 2-3 other pieces. And I use the same strategy for me and my wardrobe. I recently got this skirt at my local Family Dollar and it goes well with a wide range of colors and can be worn with sandals for a casual outing or heels for a nicer look.
Use a set of colors
I have found that letting my children wear their favorite colors is actually great for my budget! For play clothes and everyday outfits, I try to have a set of colors per child so that most of their clothes can match with each other. For example, my youngest daughter’s favorite colors are pink and orange so I try to have some pieces in that color range, as well as some basic pieces like jean shorts so that she can dress herself. My son likes dark blues, green and black so I try to keep his clothes in that color range. This also helps my budget because this way I don’t have to buy a full outfit when shopping, just a few key pieces.
I also try to keep my kids’ wardrobes relatively small. I try to keep enough clothes for two weeks for each child, as well as one or two nice outfits for going to church or special events that might come up.
Shopping for children on a budget doesn’t mean they can’t look nice. All it takes is a little bit of planning, some patience and a lot of intentional budgeting. You don’t want to spend a big chunk of your hard earned money on clothes that kids grow out of quickly!