I have a really small clothing budget for my family of six: $25/month for all of us, and that includes socks, underwear, shoes, coats, everything. Jason and I don't buy clothes for ourselves very often, and when we do, it's usually with a gift card from a birthday or Christmas.
BUT it's really important for me that my kids feel well-dressed. (I like to feel well-dressed, too, but when I don't, it's more because of my lack of fashion sense than my lack of clothing funds.) Luckily, I have been able to dress my kids in super cute clothes on my monthly budget. I know they're still young, but it's working out so far!
- Biggest money-saving tip here: buy out of season! I buy all of my kids clothes when they go on clearance at the end of the season. Last year I got a ton of gloves, mittens, and snow hats for 25 cents each from Walmart! I usually try to get all of their school clothes bought in April/May when things are going on sale. I keep them in a closet until fall, and then pull them out and my kids are super excited to have new clothes!
|This year's school wardrobe, bought on clearance over the past 6 months--tons of tights and leggings (in the bin), dark wash jeans, patterned jeans, a bunch of sweaters and long sleeved shirts, and three pairs of sneakers for $7 or less each :)|
- Know your price points. What do you want to pay for a pair of jeans? For my kids, it's $8 or under. I know I can get them this low on clearance (usually at Target or Crazy 8), so I wait until I see them at this price and then I stock up.
- Gifts, gifts gifts: I always tell grandparents to get my kids clothes for gifts! Luckily my girls are clothes horses and love receiving clothes. I also always give my girls socks, underwear, and tights as one of their Christmas gifts. They might be boring, but they need them, so they might as well rip some wrapping paper off.
- Take care of what you have. I don't think you need to pay top dollar for kids clothes that they will outgrow quickly (I once did a very scientific study where I asked all my friends how much they spent on kids' jeans and how long they lasted. Guess what? Even the expensive jeans had to be replaced after just one year) BUT you can take care of what you have and make it last longer. Get proficient at stain removal (the Great Value laundry spray at Walmart works fine for me!) and basic mending skills.
- Get creative. I never buy my girls shorts, because by the end of the school year most of their pants have holes in the knees so I just cut them off at the hole and hem them into shorts. You can do the same thing with jersey leggings, and you don't even have to hem them. Those are great to wear under skirts without built in shorts! Once Helena cut a hole the belly of a brand new shirt, so I made it into a simple tshirt dress with a cute twirly skirt.
- Watch sales and specials at your favorite stores. For me, that's Target, Crazy 8, H&M, and The Children's Place. I buy all my kids clothes at those 4 stores, and never pay full price. Ever. Crazy 8 especially has awesome sales pretty much all the time.
- Embrace your kids' own crazy style. The great thing about kids fashion is that pretty much everything looks awesome together. Stripes and polka dots? Great. High top sneakers and a tutu? Okie doke. Let them have fun dressing!!