If you’ve got kids, you’ll probably agree that they can cost a small fortune to bring up. Your savings have probably taken a hit since they arrived – and do you even have any money left over to save at all now that you’ve got little ones running around? Yes, kids’ clothing essentials soon add up and can take a big chunk out of your budget but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a more frugal way of shopping for your youngsters…
I don’t have little ones of my own (but I’m the coolest aunt around!) so I’ve had to do my research to write this blog post. I’ve chatted with some of the mums I know and have found out some of the ways that they manage to save money every day, even though they’ve got babies, toddlers and children to look after. Here’s a handful of hacks to help you cut costs on clothing with a family in tow…
I couldn’t quite believe just how much clothing kids get through. They’ve grown out of their whole wardrobe from one month to the next, and they’ve covered that lovely top with food stains and mucky smudges. And the knees of those leggings? Don’t even mention them! So, how can you save money on clothing for children?
One solution I’ve discovered is having two types of clothing. Have a ‘clean’ wardrobe for special occasions, and a ‘messy’ wardrobe for everyday play. Don’t worry – just because they have two wardrobes, it doesn’t mean you have to pay twice as much!
THE CLEAN WARDROBE
In the clean wardrobe you can keep just a handful of quality items that your little one can wear time and again. It’ll contain those clothes that cost a little more to begin with but that won’t fall apart in the wash, won’t stretch out of shape and can be handed down to the next new addition to the family. These will be the best items that your kids have received as gifts or that have been bought brand new. I’m not saying ‘keep them for best’ as your children may grow out of them before they get a chance to wear them if you do that – but think about the day ahead and only wear these clothes if there won’t be any messy play-times coming up.
It’s likely that grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends will want to give your youngsters clothing as gifts, and they’ll probably be from quality brands such as Stella McCartney kids. These items definitely belong in the clean wardrobe. Ask for neutral designs and colours that can be worn in many different ways and passed down in the future. Plus, these items will hold their value better than high street brands, and you can sell them secondhand once your kids have out-grown them.
THE MESSY WARDROBE
These items of clothing will be worn most days. They’re going to get messy and stained, so you don’t want to have to worry about them when your little one is playing with paint and sand. So, the best way to fill the messy wardrobe is with secondhand clothes. You’ll spend a fraction of the purchase price if you shop for kids’ clothes at car boot sales, jumble sales, secondhand kids clothing stores and charity shops. The price of used kids clothing is even less than budget supermarket ranges – you’re looking at about 20p for a baby grow at the car boot sale.
WEAR IT AND WASH IT
This means that you can allow your little ones to play, spill and eat without worrying about getting the stains out later. You buy enough quantity at these low prices that can get changed multiple times per day if needed. Then, once you’ve got a full load in the washing machine, put it on a mega stain-busting wash with some powerful stain remover powder (try Astonish – my favourite cruelty-free cleaning range) and hope for the best. If something is beyond help, don’t worry – it only cost you 50p so it can go to the recycling centre.
Did you know that the most damage to clothing happens in the tumble drier? Fibres can become stretched and embellishments can fall off or cause small tears. Plus, it costs you money every time you turn the dryer on (which can be often if you have lots of clothes to wash)! The solution is to air-dry as much as possible, so use the washing line outside or get one of those folding airers indoors. This is especially important in making jumpers and knitted tights last long enough to pass down to the next member of the family. Sure, it may take a day to dry the clothing, but the items will last longer and you can get maximum use out of them, minimising the cost-per-wear.
I hope these wardrobe hacks from my mummy friends have given you some inspiration for cutting costs on kids clothing in the future. Let me know how YOU save money on your child’s wardrobe in the comments below, I’d love to hear your advice on the topic too 🙂
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Totally agree about having a ‘clean’ and a ‘messy’ wardrobe. My little one’s clothes are sorted into drawers like that, so there’s no confusion by hubby when it comes to ‘messy’ dressing for nursery.
Plus Marie Kondo-folding of her clothes in drawers has saved space and time every day when it comes to picking outfits.