How to Save Money on Your Children’s Wardrobe: 9 Tips to Save You Money!


In our large family, clothing our children could easily become a very expensive endeavor if we were to buy only brand new clothes.

When it comes to buying clothing, how much do you spend on average per person each year?

Whether you have one child or ten children, clothing can be very costly for a family and can easily wreak havoc on the budget. Below are the nine ways that  I use to help my family save hundreds of dollars yearly on children’s clothing.


1. Set their expectations low.

From the time your children are young, keep their wardrobe choices simple. It is all too easy to go overboard and overdo it on the wardrobe.  By keeping their expectations low, your child will never know anything different than what is being offered.

*Instead of buying a dress for every day of the week, and new shoes to go with each dress. Buy one pair of shoes that are versatile and can be worn numerous times with different dresses.

*It is hard to ignore those back-to-school sales in late summer, they make you feel as if you need to buy an entirely new wardrobe for your child just to go back to school.  You do not have to fall for that hype.  Buy what is necessary and make do with the rest of what your child already has in their closet or drawers.

2. If they want something more than what you’re willing to provide or pay for, teach them patience and self-control.

This tip is simple.

*Set a budget amount for each child pertaining to clothing.

*Don’t go over that amount.

*If you are over the specified amount, and your child desires something more; this is a good time to teach patience, self-control, and responsibility.

If your child is able to buy the article of clothing desired from their own money, allow them to make that decision to purchase it.

If your child is younger and has no money of their own yet,  provide the opportunity to earn some cash by doing some work at home or for somebody else. Then once the money is earned, they may then purchase it.

Or this may be a great way to say ‘no’ to your child and they are able to learn self-control and that things aren’t always going to be handed to them.

3. Shop at garage sales or thrift stores.

Before you snub your nose at this tip, think about how much money you can save by doing this.  Your children outgrow shoes and clothing so fast, you rarely get your money’s worth out of the item.

Once you’ve been doing the majority of your shopping in stranger’s driveways for a couple of years, retail prices start to look absurd. That $25 shirt at Target looks like a huge rip-off when you paid $1 for something similar last week. Know what I mean?

Usually, items are $0.50 to a $1.00 and if you are purchasing several items, feel free to offer a smaller amount. More than likely, the seller will take your offer. If not, and you really want the items, you are still getting a good deal.  I love garage sales and especially large sales hosted by churches or schools. The larger the sale, the more likely you are to find a large selection of great kids clothes.

Every year, I would estimate that I save hundreds of dollars (or more) by shopping at garage sales and thrift stores on clothing for my family.

4. Don’t be afraid to buy from online garage sale sites such as facebook marketplace or craigslist.

Online garage sales can be a great place to buy clothing for your children as well.  Many times it provides an opportunity for you to shop from the comfort of your home, without lugging all the children around with you and you save money in the process.

5. Swap clothes with a friend with slightly older children, or having a clothing swap with friends.

You will be amazed what you can find and how lovely the clothing can be.  I have done this for years and it gives my children’s wardrobe the needed update so badly needed at times. Many times we end up with name brand, barely used clothing from each other.

6. Put the word out with friends, family, or church members that you are in the market for gently used clothing, and willing to pay.

When this is done at a fraction of a cost compared to the price being sold in the store, the savings are huge. Once the word gets out that you are in the market for children’s clothing, people will pass the word along and keep you in mind for next time they are updating their child’s wardrobe.

This is one of my favorite money saving tips because people will remember the next time they head out to a garage sale, thrift store, or know of a friend cleaning out their children’s closets; and they will let you know. We have come across some great deals this way.

7. Be sensible aka don’t fall for ‘its so cute’ trap.

Try to resist those oh-so-cute shoes or a pretty dress for your baby that will only wear it once before outgrowing it.  Be sensible and practical when it comes to buying clothing.  Money is easily frittered away when lack of common sense is involved when making impulsive decisions when buying clothing.

8.  Take care of their existing clothing.

  • Weather-treat shoes and boots
  • Treat stains as soon as possible
  • Launder clothing in cold water, and dry on low heat
  • Hang clothes to dry if you can
  • Specify clothing: Play clothes are to be worn for playing outside or working. Church clothes are only for church.  School clothes are only worn to school and taken off once the child is home. This practice can save wear and tear on clothing.

9. Hand-Me-Downs

As a child, my brother and I received random donated bags of clothing from family members.  Those days were almost as good as Christmas. I remember being excited about having a new shirt or new pants to wear. Equally as excited was my mother because she did not have to spend any money on buying her children clothes, thus saving money for her family.

Having children should not be a reason to spend a lot of money. It is possible to have a large family, stick to a budget, and save money in the process. Your children can be dapper, handsome, pretty, or dressed in style without costing an arm and a leg.


A few other reminders:

  • Be smart. 
  • Choose quality clothing.
  • Be good stewards of the family income.
  • Stick to the budget.



Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home



Children’s Wardrobe Storage Solutions


2 thoughts on “How to Save Money on Your Children’s Wardrobe: 9 Tips to Save You Money!

  1. We also do not always wash some clothes every single time they are worn. For example, shorts and pants can be worn a couple of times if they do not get dirty. Less washing can mean less breakdown of th fabrics and longer life to the clothes.

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