How To Buy a Lot without Spending a Lot: Toddler Clothes


My girl doesn’t pose for pictures. She gets her stubbornness from her mama. Bow: Target Shirt: Target  Shorts: H&M (found at a consignment store) Shoes: Stride Rites (We don’t skimp on shoes. Ellis has thick feet so regular, cute cheap-o shoes don’t seem to fit.

Much to my husband’s dismay, our daughter continues to grow out of her clothes about every six months.  Add to that she’s a fairly messy girl who easily stains her outfits, and where we are in Florida, we still experience 3 seasons:  cool, 2 weeks of nice, and unbearably hot.  When we had a couple of 80 degree days in the end of February, I realized I had no summer clothes for her that fit.  She looked a little goofy at the park in some booty shorts and non-matching Jaguars jersey because that was the best I could do.  Also, family and friends don’t like to buy your kid clothes once he or she has exited your womb.  Sure, they will load you up with fancy little onesies and newborn boutique outfits that your kid will ruin within seconds of wearing, but pretty much after baby reaches the 3-6 month size chart, you are on your own.  Basically, I have to buy my child an entire new wardrobe 2-3 times a year to accommodate for her growth and the changing seasons.  This can get expensive if you don’t shop smart.

My general rule of thumb is I don’t spend more than $5 on an item of clothing unless it’s a dress or pajamas.  Pajamas are usually in sets and even on clearance or on sale, the best deal I can usually find is $11.  I initially looked at consignment sales to find clothes but quickly realized that I could buy brand new for the same price and actually get what I want.

Carter’s and Osh Kosh B’Gosh are great places to find deals.  They always have items on sale, clearance, and what they call doorbusters.  The only downside is that you can’t use coupons on already discounted items, so sometimes you have to play with the numbers to get the best discount, and I only buy when there is free shipping.

Target also has a rack of clearance items as well as a table and rack of affordable mix and match play clothes.  Even still, I prefer to wait until those clothes also go on sale before I pick anything up.

Old Navy can sometimes be a good place to get good deals, but their sizing isn’t very reliable (much like all of their clothes), and items tend to be cheaply made and ill-fitting.  I prefer to shop in store as opposed to online for this reason, otherwise I end up having to return a lot of my purchases.

H&M‘s children’s section is adorable, but their sizes are all over the place, too.  I have to eye the size and guess whether it’ll fit Ellis.  (I rarely take her shopping at the mall because I will get nothing accomplished except spending $$$ on light up rides and mall food.) The prices and styles more than make up for it, though, and you are much less likely to run into other tots with the same threads like you do with Target and Carter’s clothes.

Children’s consignment stores are yet another option (even though I discounted it early on in this post).  This requires a bit more work scouting the racks and multiple trips, but I have found some adorable dresses there (2 if I’m being honest) and other items for about $4 each.



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