If you want to find kids clothes cheap, our Used Clothing tips for Kids Page will help.
Check out this growing list of money saving tips from Steve & Annette and our readers to help you save on clothing for your children!
Kids Blue Jean Tips
When buying kids clothes, I always buy things with elastic waistbands. For blue jeans, during the summer, I buy them a size bigger than needed, so they will fit in the fall or winter. If the knees wear out faster then the rest of the jeans, patch them with some leftover fabric from prior jeans. Once spring comes, take the pants and cut them into shorts and hem.
Once they are outgrown, hand them down to a younger sibling. If the jeans are from a girl, it’s very easy to turn them into a skirt. I usually pay a dollar a pair for pants at yard sales. Save worn out blue jean fabric and use that for patches. Blue jeans, dungarees or denim pants can also be found at thrift stores or rummage sales for pennies on the dollar. Martina Sanderson – Columbus, OH
Buy, Consign, Sell and Swap
Here are some great used clothing tips to help you find clothes for your kids cheaper. We have a newborn and BOY (pun intended) does he go through clothes FAST! We always go to Goodwill’s half-off days and pick out the best, cutest stuff for him to wear. Then after he outgrows the clothes, I consign what I can (for store credit) and sell the rest on Craigslist. Whatever I have left I take to a clothing swap and trade my stuff for new stuff! The clothing swap isn’t always a guarantee but it’s fun and I usually end up with at least two or three things I love. Jeannie Gibson – USA
Spread the Word & Pass it On
I have been blessed by a great number of women at my church. We have formed somewhat of an informal clothes trading ring for hand-me-downs. I get clothes for my kids that they can grow into and when my kids grow out of things, they are in turn passed along to other moms. (We also do the same with toys!). I don’t know about you, but all the women involved love to see the favorite outfit that Junior outgrew, much too fast, being enjoyed by another child. I think that in this the children can learn that there is no shame in wearing hand-me-downs (or as I like to call them, “new-to-me’s”).
It is also the way that the Lord provides for us as a one-income family (my husband is a public school teacher) and we, in turn, can help bless others. It’s also helpful to keep Papa’s & Nana’s informed of the current sizes that the kids are wearing — especially if they are the kind of grandparents that occasionally buy your kids clothes. I also enlist the help of my mother — she is a hardcore secondhand shopper — if I am currently shopping for something specific, but not able to find it in my favorite haunts. Jeannie Ziebell (mom of triplets) – Mesa, AZ
Here’s how I get clothes for my kids cheaper than other moms.
We were out shopping for back to school clothes when I decided to pop into a local thrift store. My son was not pleased, but went along with his crazy mom! Well, lo and behold there was a pair of jeans just my son’s size! I convinced him to try them on and they fit perfectly. Best of all, they were only 3 dollars! When we went to pay for them I discovered they wouldn’t accept checks. So I dug around in my purse for 3 dollars in change. The last dollar was in pennies — He-He — the cashier didn’t mind and neither did I, but my son could have died from embarrassment! Helen McMillen – USA
Plato’s Closet – Clothes for Teens and Twenty-Somethings
My teenage daughter loves shopping at Plato’s Closet. It is a teen resale shop that only carries name brand clothes like Hollister, Abercrombie, and Aeropostale. They are located in many states. They are a bit more expensive than a regular resale shop or garage sales, but it is full of clothes all teens would love to wear. My daughter has bought $80 jeans for $12. Our used clothing tips for kids mantra is let someone else pay full price! Another great thing is they will buy name brand stuff on the spot from you which means cash in your pocket. We checked out Plato’s Closet website. It looks good. Over 200 franchise location across the US. Find a Plato’s Closet near you. Denise-USA
Multiply Your Yard Sale Clothing Deals
I have a trick that I use to get my kids clothes really cheap. Whenever I go to yard sales and they have children’s clothes and are doing “bag” sales ($1 to fill the bag) I buy up most of the kids’ clothes that are in good shape. Then I take them home and sort through them and see if there is anything that will fit my granddaughter. If not, I take the rest to a kid-to-kid location and trade them in for store credit and then i can take my granddaughter shopping there for the clothes she needs. I did that the other day. I spent $4 and got $40 in store credit to spend. Tonya Music – USA
My children seem like they always need shoes! Also, I am a recent newbie to your website. And, I have been blessed with triplets. They are 3 1/2 years old and always in need of some type of clothing. I need to be able to find clothes for them really inexpensively.
Recently I just went through the “Mommy, my shoes are too small” syndrome. Since I like to have extra shoes for the kids so the same ones are not worn every day (yes, they tend to have very sweaty and somewhat stinky feet!) I buy one new pair — almost always on sale — and the rest I find in 2nd hand stores or see if the cousins are ready to hand some down.
More Used Shoes
The other day I found four pairs of shoes for less than $19. Most of the 2nd hand shoes are in pretty good shape since kids at this age tend to outgrow the shoes before wearing them out. If I find a pair that is a bit dirty but in good repair, I hit them with a dose of Lysol and then throw them in the washing machine. Jeanne Ziebell – Mesa, AZ
Just Between Friends
Just Between Friends Consignment sales. It’s a great way to make cash for stuff that your little one or yourself has outgrown/doesn’t use anymore. Check out their website, they have locations in many cities across the U.S. Jamie Funk – Cocoa, FL
Cashing in in Garage Sale Finds
I like to garage sale — I often buy clothes for my children, Christmas gifts, etc. this way. It’s a frugal way to get great things for less money.
Last year, I found a way to make garage-saleing even more profitable. I can buy children’s and infant clothes and toys (only in excellent condition) often for about a quarter. Then I resell them at a local semi-annual children’s consignment sale. At this sale, clothes sell for 1/3 to 1/2 of retail price — so I can easily get $5 or more for a pair of children’s jeans purchased for a quarter. I get to keep 65% of the sale price, and the remainder is donated to charity.
I’m making money and contributing to charity! Amy Davis – Omaha, NE
Hand-Me-Downs and Freecycle
My little tip for getting kids clothes cheaper is to accept and pass on hand-me-downs.
I saved every piece of clothing from my first son. Five years later I had my second one and here I am, using all the old clothes. I am now saving baby’s clothes that don’t fit him anymore to give out to a friend who is expecting.
By the way, I am not selling or donating because I received lots of hand-me-downs for my first one, so I am sharing in kind. My favorite group is Freecycle! I’ve gotten lots of toys for my kids that way and when possible, I give things away, too. Karina Kawaguchi – Montreal, QC, Canada
Easy Way to Find New Thrift Stores Near You
If you’re new to an area or just looking for a new treasure trove – check out TheThriftShopper.com. You’ll find tons of resources for cheap clothing in your area.
Over the years they have compiled a listing of more than 12,000 thrift stores with more than 4000 reviews written by shoppers like you and me. They even provide a satisfaction ranking on a scale of 1 to 5.
Saving Huge on Back To School Clothes for 4 Kids
The national average for buying grade school kids Back to School Clothes is about $300 per child. This includes all clothing and shoes.
(It’s hard for us to imagine spending this much on our whole family!)
We took our kids (and one friend) shopping at Savers Thrift Department Store for an hour and a half of bargain hunting for back to school clothes. The results were stunning.
Each of the kids found several complete outfits in that time. Roy’s outfit (L.L. Bean jeans and a Quicksilver Tee shirt) retailed for over $60 and was purchased for just $5. All of the clothes you see the kids wearing in this photo were purchased at Savers.
The most expensive outfit . . . just $12 for jeans, a top and a sweater. That’s a real deal, but what makes it even better is that this whole trip didn’t cost us (Annette and Steve) a penny (read more below these photos).
Pictured from left to right: Lauren (Abbey’s best friend, Joe, Abbey, Diane Ryan, Annette, Steve, Roy and Becky. We’re all standing inside one of our favorite thrift stores — Savers.
That’s right, the kids use their own money to buy their clothes. Our kids start paying for their own clothes at age 11. To learn more about this system read about our MoneySmart Kids Training Program.
Visit TheThriftShopper.com where you can search by zip code for thrift stores in your area.
Watch the video below:
More cheap kids clothes resources
Check out our Miscellaneous Clothing Tips page for more great ideas!
For more ideas on Used Clothing Tips for Kids, consider our first book, America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money. It has an entire chapter on how to dress your family nicely and affordable.
If you have a tip to help save money on used clothing for kids, please leave it in the comments below.