It’s no secret that kids are expensive – like REALLY expensive. I definitely believe it’s worth it – but it is a struggle to manage finances for the majority of families, whether you have a few kids or several. One of the costs with our family that I’ve found a good, consistent system with helping our budget on is the clothing. While this doesn’t work quite as well for adults, here’s a great idea that I’ve come to rely on for How to Save Money on Kids’ Clothes – and since y’all love printables, I’ve even included a handy chart to help you, as well!
When I had my daughter, I received so many cute clothes from grandparents, and hand-me-downs from some relatives that I rarely had to buy any type of clothing for her. That lasted until she was about six, actually! When we had the twins, and then my youngest 18 months after them, it was a new story, though. I knew I needed to find a way to cut that cost, so tried out something new. It took me awhile to really get good at it, but it’s since saved us HUNDREDS on that part of our budget!
The main idea to save money on kids’ clothes: buy them while on major sales/clearance for them to grow into. That way you’re not limited to the size they’re in just right then, and maybe what they currently need won’t be on sale at the time you need it. Let me explain in more detail…
I kept a chart of each child, the types of clothing (tshirt, long sleeved shirt, pants, shorts, pajamas, shoes, etc.) and had rows next to it like in this chart so I could keep track of HOW MANY of each item they had in WHAT SIZE. Here’s an example of using the printable to track it all….
I found that I could get awesome deals on clothing and shoes, but often it wasn’t what size they needed at the time. So I stopped planning for the moment and starting shopping for the future. I’d check the sale and clearance racks, check for coupons, and utilize end-of-season deals to find the best prices on clothes, then looked at my chart to see what sizes they still needed of that item. If they had plenty of tshirts in size 6 already, I didn’t worry about buying it. But if I found a great deal on pants in size 7, and they only had one or two pairs already, I’d nab it and mark it down.
One thing to keep in mind, especially for really little kids that may go through multiple sizes in a year – keep in mind what SEASON they’ll need a certain size. There wasn’t a point in getting my twins any 6 months clothing that was ideal for winter, since they’d wear that size during the summer months.
What got me into some trouble at first, though, was that I’d forget to KEEP TRACK of what I had in the various sizes! So I’d end up with way more shirts for one size, and not enough pajamas. It’s not saving you money if you’re buying way more than they really need, so it’s CRUCIAL that you mark down what you have and keep a record of it. That’s why this printable is so helpful! I list out different clothing such as TShirts, L.S. Shirts (long sleeved shirts), Pants, Shorts, D. Clothes (dress clothes), Pajamas, T. Shoes (tennis shoes/athletic shoes), D. Shoes (dress shoes), Sandals – and leave some empty spots to fill as you’d like! Along the top of the rows is where you can put the size.
Let’s break it down into steps to make sure everyone understands how to do this:
- Get a chart (like the printable I’m sharing) and mark down what clothing/shoes each child has in what sizes. Mark the season, if needed.
- Decide what you think is a good amount of each item to have. Are they fine with 3 pairs of pajamas, or do they need more? Maybe 7 tshirts is perfect for your kid, or maybe another kid needs more athletic-type pants than others. Make a note of this somewhere (maybe to the side of the chart) so you can know when you hit your ‘happy number’.
- Regularly watch for sales, check clearance racks, etc. and see if any items are a great price on there. If so, check on your chart if you still need that item in that particular size for your child. If so, consider getting it. If not, ignore it.
- Occasionally (I do about 1-2 times per year, depending on how fast they’re growing) check for their current sizes so you can mark that down to keep in mind at the stores while you’re looking through clothes. (on the printable, there’s space at the bottom to track that)
- Store the ‘grow into’ clothes in a tote that’s clearly labeled. Pull it out a couple of times a year as they’re needing to switch out sizes and seasonal items. Maybe mark on the storage container what ‘season’ those clothes are, as well, to make it even easier and quicker to go through.
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It’s ultimately a very simple idea, but you have to keep track and actually implement the idea of planning ahead. Like I said before, you could end up spending MORE money if you don’t keep track of things and buy too many of something or not enough of another. But as long as you keep record – and remember where you store all the clothing for them to grow into – it’s a great way to save money on kids’ clothes! After all, we could all benefit from saving major money in our budget, right? 😉