clothes

As a parent I’m always looking for ways to spend smart and make my dollar stretch, and these days it’s become more of a necessity for more and more of us. When it comes to outfitting our kids, luckily there are many good options to avoid paying full price for their clothes. Family Hack recently wrote a list of 5 ways we can dress our kids for a fraction of the full price tag. In addition to their list, here are my suggestions with local links:

THRIFT STORES

Many thrift stores are known to have bargain prices, but you may have to revisit often as inventory changes constantly, and some may not allow returns. My favorite thrift shop is Savers, which benefits the Boys and Girls Club of America (but does accept returns). Check out their newly renovated store in East Providence – huge, clean, and well organized.
Savers
– E. Providence: 1925 Pawtucket Ave, East Providence, RI
– Warwick: 24 Universal Blvd, Warwick, RI
Salvation Army – Check here for a location near you.

CONSIGNMENT AND RESALE SHOPS

Prices will be a bit higher at these shops because the clothes tend to be cleaner and more trendy than what you typically find in thift shops. If you consign clothes, you can opt for credit towards buying more clothes, making this an even more affordable option and a great way to pass on clothes that look “almost new.” Read more on how to consign your kids’ clothes and toys.

Local consigment shops:
Love Bugs – 746 Hope Street, Providence
Just Ducky – 34 Gooding Avenue, Bristol
Little Pumpkins – 759 Tiogue Avenue, Coventry
Adored By Us – 2949 Hartford Ave Johnston (*New Location)
Children’s Orchard – 20 Commerce Way # 7, Seekonk, MA (Near Target)

YARD SALES
Yard sale season is here. You can find great deals because many yard sale shoppers are looking for furniture. You can often bargain and buy clothes in bulk.

CLOTHES SWAP
This is the best way to save and recycle gently used clothing. Invite friends to a kids clothes swap at your house or school. Make it simple and have everyone bring bags of clothes their kids no longer wear, sorted by gender and size, and let everyone take what they want.

Spread the word. Tell friends and daycare or childcare providers that you accept used clothes. I tell my friends with older boys that I’m happy to have their hand-me-downs and in turn I pass on some of my sons’ outgrown clothes to friends with boys younger or smaller than my own. This is a great way to save on purchasing clothes and to give your kids’ stuff–which may be in perfect condition–a longer life.

MORE TIPS
1. Take advantage of off-season sales and buy ahead, but be careful not to over-buy since you never know when your child will have a growth spurt. You don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of summer shorts that never get worn.

2. Try to buy only what you need when thrift shopping. It is easy to get lulled by cheap prices and buy more than you need, negating some of your savings.

3. Label storage bins: I have bins in my sons’ closet labeled by season, outgrown clothes to donate, clothes to consign and clothes donated to us that don’t fit yet. This way I stay organized and avoid shoppiing for items we do not need.

What are your tips for saving money on kids clothes?