Seven Ways to Clothe Your Children on a Budget
Every parent knows that children grow quickly. Children also often rip or damage their clothing while playing or spill liquids on their clothing, causing permanent stains. For those and other similar reasons, you may find yourself needing new clothing for your children on a fairly regular basis. If you are a low-income parent, then shopping for clothing for your children may be quite difficult, especially if you have more than one child. Purchasing brand new clothing from top retailers may be out of the question for you due to budget constraints. However, if you take a little time and use some creativity, you can clothe your children regardless of your budget. Below is a list of seven ways to clothe your children without spending an excessive amount of money.
Re-Purpose Old Clothing
According to a 2015 study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average cost of raising a child until he or she reached 17 years of age was $233,610. Approximately 6 percent of that amount is spent on clothing. If your budget does not allow for such expenditures, then one way you can reduce the money you spend on clothing for your children is to re-purpose the clothing they already have.
When re-purposing clothing, you have two options. The first option is to turn outgrown clothing belonging to your older children into clothing for your younger children. Alternatively, you can adapt clothing in various ways to make it more appealing to your children. Iron-on patches can revitalize a pair of pants or a shirt. You can also use techniques such as cutting jeans to create shorts in order to adapt the wardrobes of your children for the changing seasons.
Sell Children’s Clothing That No Longer Fits
If your children have pieces of clothing which are in good shape but no longer fit them, sell the clothing. Use the proceeds from the clothing sales to buy new clothes your children will enjoy. You can do this relatively easily by using popular online marketplaces. By selling clothing in order to buy new clothing, you will avoid taking money from your regular household budget, and you will also make room in your children’s closet for the new clothing pieces in the process.
Network With Other Parents
Clothing swaps with other parents are excellent sources of cheap or free clothing for children. Ask your friends and family members if their kids have any outgrown clothing they no longer need. In exchange, provide them with clothing your children are no longer wearing.
Requesting clothing as holiday gifts for your children will reduce your clothing costs as well. However, if your children are particular about the types of clothing they like, this may not be a great idea. Alternatively, you may suggest to your family members or friends that they give your children gift certificates as holiday gifts, which will allow you and your children to pick out their new clothes together. Be aware, however, that gift suggestions can be a touchy subject and make you seem ungrateful to some people.
Look for Sales
There are many ways you can obtain clothing at sale prices. Look for paper coupons or install coupon applications on your cell phone to get updates when deals on clothing for children are available. Also, learn when your local stores tend to have the best clothing sales. Some stores mark children’s clothing down on specific days each week. Other stores have special clothing sales at certain times of year. Almost every store has a clearance rack where you can find cheap clothing items.
Shop at Discount Clothing Sources
There are several online websites and brick-and-mortar stores that specialize in selling discount clothing. When clothing manufacturers produce too much of a product or decide to discontinue a line, such websites sell the overstock items at deep discounts. Look for special online sales and free shipping offers to save additional money.
If you have a discount clothing store or thrift store in your local area, you can also shop for clothing for your children in person. Shopping in person will allow you to have the children try the clothes on before you purchase them. Check to see if your local thrift stores have online websites listing upcoming sales or set schedules where they offer sales on certain days of the week. Taking advantage of such sales will help you to stretch your budget and make sure your children have all of the clothes they need.
Involve Your Children in the Clothes-Shopping Experience
If you purchase clothing for your children without their input, you may waste more money if the children refuse to wear the clothing items in question. Involve your children in the clothes-shopping experience in order to make sure they will like and fit into the clothing you purchase.