I’m gearing up for my multiples club’s big fall consignment sale, so my house is full of piles and bins filled with clothes ready to be tagged and sold. They tried on all the clothes from last spring, and I made a shopping list. Now I’m off to shop the local consignment sales and then my favorite online retailers for the clothing we need. No matter where I shop, I follow these three rules every season:

  • I buy the best quality clothing I can while sticking to my budget.
  • I take good care of what we have (and teach my children to do the same).
  • I resell my kids’ clothing in good condition to recoup my costs.

At the upcoming consignment sales, I look for good brands that I know can handle multiple washings and last through more than one child. My goal is to resell them at the end of our use, so that I can recoup some of my cost and give me cash to replace clothes the next season.

If I do need to buy retail—which I do with my son who needs “Slim” sized pants—I wait until an online sale comes up, then combine coupons with cash back. I prefer to get free shipping, then I can have the kids try their clothes on in the comfort of our home, and I can drive to the store to return clothes if needed. Shopping online, I find better selection, with the added bonus of not having to drag kids along to a store to sort through messy clearance racks.

Whether clothes are used or new, I take care of them to stretch my dollars and get better value. I’ve taught my children to care for their clothes by letting me know if there’s a spill or stain (so I can use a stain stick right away), and they change out of “good” clothes into playclothes to play outside, do art projects, etc. We wear our jeans twice before washing, and if long-sleeved tees are stained or too worn, they can be used as undershirts or with layered looks.

Once my kids have outgrown their clothes, I sort them into “Sell” and “Donate” piles. I give away clothes to local charities, to other moms of multiples, or on Freecycle. I save my “Sell” piles until the twice-a-year consignment sale, and I earn enough money to put back into my clothing budget for the next season.

How do you save on buying kids clothes?