We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
our site may earn a commission from shopping links.
Tiny dresses, pants, shirts, and one-piece outfits can bust a family budget faster than you can say "shopping trip." And since babies grow fast, those cute clothes have a short shelf life. So what's a parent to do?
Use your phone
Smartphones have given rise to a whole cottage industry serving bargain-hunters: shopping apps. Most are free, but they need Internet access to work. Red Laser, ShopSavvy, and The Find are applications that allow you to scan bar codes as you shop to see where the best deals are. Google Shopper lets you search by voice. You can also type in the name of the item you need and it will go hunting for the best deal. Coupon Sherpa comes in handy by allowing you to find coupons by store.
Secondhand clothes are big money-savers, especially when kids are young and not yet fashion-picky. Plus, you won't mind too much if outfits are soiled by errant juice, stubborn dirt, or worse. There are some safety considerations to consider when buying used clothes – check these clothing guidelines from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
To find deals, search the "for sale" section of your local Craigslist site, and check eBay. Both sites are popular destinations for moms and dads looking to unload their baby stuff. You can also save some green by going green, a.k.a. recycling. At Freecycle, everything from clothes to power tools can be had from owners who need to free up space.
Don't forget old-school standbys like garage sales and children's thrift stores, too, where items sell for as little as 25 cents apiece. You might get lucky and find quality clothing in mint condition.
"You can get one-piece outfits really cheap at yard sales, but they're usually yellowed or stained. I tie-dyed the ones I bought that weren't perfectly white, and they're adorable." – Narshkite
"The best part about going to resale shops is that when your children outgrow the things you buy, you can take them back to the shop and basically make your money back." – Lori
Host a clothes swap
There are plenty of parents like you looking for a low-cost – in this case, no-cost – way to refresh their kids' wardrobe. Have friends and relatives bring clothes their children no longer wear, toss everything into the middle of the room, and do a big trade. Everyone can go home with something new (to them) and it's absolutely free. It's less wasteful and better for the environment, too.
"Keep an open mind. Just because they used to be little boys' clothes doesn't mean your little girl can't wear them. I nabbed some great jeans, T-shirts, and overalls at a swap." – Molly
Watch for post-purchase price drops
Shopping during sales is an obvious money-saver, but you can still save money post-transaction, too. If you're paying full price, ask the cashier if a sale is scheduled sometime soon. Stores will often credit the difference between full and sale price if it's only been a short time since your visit and you return with the receipt.
"Save your receipts. If the price goes down within two weeks of your purchase, you can sometimes get back the difference either in cash or in store credit. Some stores also mark down their merchandise every two weeks. So hit those sale racks." – Amy
Register (or drop hints) for gifts
If you're dying to buy some cute little outfits, but you're resisting spending money on them, put them on a gift registry that doting relatives and close friends can access when a birthday or holiday comes around. Amazon has one, and many other retail websites do, too.
Shop offline sales
Scour for discounted items at your favorite retail spots. The sale racks are often full of gems, especially at the end of the season, when staples like coats and jeans are usually available with double-digit markdowns. If you live near outlet stores, these are worth a trip as well.
"Don't be afraid to buy ahead when you see something at a good price. An outfit that's too big today will be fine in six months." – Stanley
Shop online sales
The Internet is one of the best places to find great deals on baby gear. You can start the bargain hunt on our Free Stuff & Great Deals page. Then try your favorite search engine (type in terms like "free stuff," "bargains," and "coupons").
Shopping sites like Overstock often offer high-quality products for less than sticker price. These money-saving sites can help, too:
- My Coupons: Get free samples and discount coupons for baby stuff, health and beauty supplies, and more.
- Free2Try.com: More great coupons and freebies.
- The Dollar Stretcher: Advice and links to help you live better on less.
- Lands' End Overstocks: Great deals on Lands' End clothing.
- Dharma Trading: This company sells inexpensive plain white clothes, meant for dyeing. You can either decorate them or leave them white.
- Children's Orchard: This national franchise sells new and gently used kids' clothing and more.
- BabyCenter's Bargain Hunters group: A lively place to swap cost-cutting tips.