Spending a lot of money on children's clothes while they're still growing is like shoveling snow in a blizzard; they outgrow everything faster than you can replace it. How can you keep your kids looking presentable without spending a fortune on clothes every few months? Here are five strategies that will help you achieve this goal.Buy Big
Look for styles that can be bought in the next size up and worn even though they're a little big. For girls, tunics and stretch pants are very forgiving. Boys can wear jeans that are a little baggy, and oversize button-down shirts look great. Both genders can wear sweaters and T-shirts that are a little big.
Many basics are gender-neutral and can easily be passed down from one child to the next. Infant onesies in bright colors and simple patterns like stripes can work for both boys and girls. Older kids can pass down jeans, overalls, simple crew-neck sweaters, cardigans, T-shirts, turtlenecks, tennis shoes, and more. If you shop carefully, you can buy coats, hats, and boots that brothers and sisters can share and pass along. Master parent tip: Buy a pile of "magic stretch" gloves in plain black and put them in a box in the closet for the whole family to share. Since they'll fit anyone and can be worn on the left hand or the right, any two you grab are a pair – and you can find a new mate in a jiffy when a glove gets lost.
Make each dollar work double-time by using online coupons that combine savings on kids' clothes with donations to your favorite charity. Clip coupons from JCPenney or get discounts at Kohl's on the Goodshop site, and each company will donate to the charity of your choice. This way, you can kill two birds with one stone, getting quality clothes for your kids, while still being able to give back.
How many times have you had to give away an item your kids never even wore because it didn't fit them during the right season? The light use that many kid's clothes get before they're outgrown explains why even people who have never shopped in thrift shops before start haunting second-hand stores after their kids are born. The best deals are usually found at church rummage sales, garage sales, and stores like Goodwill, but as kids get older and more brand-conscious, you'll want to focus your efforts on high-end resale shops, eBay, and online at virtual thrift stores like ThredUp.
Sell the Old Stuff
Keep cash flowing into your family's clothing budget by selling things as they are outgrown. Set up a hamper to gather outgrown clothes and periodically spend a day going through the collection and listing them on ThredUp or eBay – or take them to a local consignment shop.Keeping your kids in style without breaking the bank is a challenge, especially as they get older and more style-conscious. Find the right balance between style and savings, and you can easily manage your clothing budget.