Parents know that children are expensive! Buying clothing can be especially draining because they grow out of them so quickly. However, with a few tips, any parent can learn to spend much less money on clothes for their children, while still making sure they look presentable.
- Get Organized! Take an inventory of what your children already have. This will give you an idea of what they have outgrown, what they never wore, what they have worn out, and what you are looking for. Do your children need dressy clothes, school uniforms, or clothes to play in?
- Sell Old Clothes. Bring your children's gently used clothes to a consignment or re-sale shop, and you may be able to get store credit or even cash, going a long way towards purchasing their new clothes. You can also sell your children's clothing online.
- Take Advantage of Hand-Me-Downs. Although hand-me-downs are sometimes thought of as being old cast-offs, children's used school clothing is easy to find in great shape, since children grow out of it so quickly. Get hand-me-downs from relatives, friends, neighbors, or anyone who may be done with clothing that is appropriate for your child.
- Shop Secondhand. Especially when your child is too young to care about where his or her clothes are from, buy secondhand! Flea markets, thrift stores, secondhand boutiques, and other secondhand venues. You can get clothing that is still in excellent shape and has only been gently used. When your child begins to want name band clothing, propose a compromise. Determine which brand name items they want the most, and offer to get those new and the rest secondhand. This will teach your child the value of money in addition to saving you some!
- Consider Wearability. Never, ever buy something that your child will not wear. It doesn't matter if the dress is the cutest you've ever seen or the price can't be beat. If your child hates it, is uncomfortable in it, or simply won't wear it, you are not getting a good deal.
- Avoid Impulse Buys! Getting organized before you shop can go a long way toward fighting expensive impulse buys. If your child sees it and begs for it, or if you're shopping while tired and overwhelmed, you're much more likely to buy something you don't need just to be finished. Come armed with information about what you need and where the sales are, and you will be much less likely to fall for the impulse buying trap.
- Give Old Clothes a New Life. There are many ways to make children's clothing look new, fashionable, or less boring. Use fabric paints or fabric crayons to decorate plain t-shirts or jeans. New buttons, lace trim, patches, and other embellishments can cover stains and give a new look to outfits that your child may be tired of.
One important fact for parents to remember is that as the parent, you have the final say. Never give in to a chld throwing a temper tantrum or incessantly begging for a particular item of clothing, as you will be setting a dangerous precedent as well as spending too much money. Done well, shopping for clothes can be a great way to show your child the value of money as well as spending some quality time together.