Every little bit adds up – spent or saved. Here is how to save money on kids clothes by making a list. This makes it easier to avoid impulse purchases - it's the strategy I use when shopping for my kids.
1. Don't assume you will always know off the top of your head exactly what child needs which clothing
Relying on memory alone, you may wind up buying your child clothing items that are not truly needed, and forget to buy other items of clothing which your child is actually low on. Sounds obvious, but it's true.
2. Instead, take a quick look through your children's closets and dressers
Do your children have enough pants? How about socks? Don't forget shoes, outerwear, hats and so on. If they have what they need, then great! You can save money already by not buying these items. If you see an item they need more of, or need in the next size up due to growth, then jot that down on a list. This can also be a good time to plan for the next season.
3. Make your list
Ideally jot it down on whatever device you'll be most likely to have when you are shopping. In most cases, this would be on your phone. I use the built-in memo app for this. If instead you do a lot of shopping online on your desktop, then your computer may be the place to jot this down.
Simply list all the items that your children still need (e.g. 1 pair jeans, 2 long sleeved tops).
4. Sort your list in order of priority
I've found that the crucial step for successful budgeting is to sort the list in priority order. This is always going to be a huge help, but especially if your cashflow is unpredictable. On my list I have sub-headings labeled High Priority, Medium Priority and Low Priority.
That way, when you have the cash and when a sale is on, you're able to see at a glance which items are the most important for you to purchase and which items you can hold off on until later. This is a great way to save money on a tight budget.
5. Think up to a season ahead for your children's clothing
Sure, some of the next-season items may be placed at lower priority on your list, but having them on the list lets you know what to look for when the sales are happening. Children grow so quickly that you don't want to run out of clothes if they have a growth spurt.
6. Sign up to hear about sales and deals on kids clothes
One way of doing this is to sign up for updates at each children's clothing store you like.
The other way is to sign up for my newsletter just below so you can know when there's a lot of great deals happening. I only list the best deals, so you won't get inundated. But it's not a substitute for doing your own homework, since what I think the best deals are might be different to what you think they are, and you may like to shop from different clothing stores than I like. My mailing list is the perfect addition to whatever other methods you use to keep track of deals on kids clothes, though!
7. Evolve your list and keep it current!
Delete items from your list as you buy them. Add new items on your list when you discover they are needed. This way, you're in control and you save money. No more impulse buys, but you still have all the fun of shopping for items that are truly needed.
An example list looks something like this – simple and quick:
Pajamas, 3 sets, size 7 - Anna
Skirts x 2, size 7 - Anna
Cargo-style pants, 1 more pair, size 5 - Nathan
Skinny jeans, size 7 - Anna
Shoes, size 12 - Nathan
Anna & Nathan – socks
Nathan – a few more T-shirts, size 5
Anna – 2 more pairs of pants, size 7
Anna – shorts for next season, size 8
8. Shop at an affordable kids clothing store where you can get maximum style for discount store pricing
Once you have your list organized, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that there are several children's clothing stores which have prices similar to, and sometimes even cheaper than, the big-box discount stores. I've put together a list of these trendy yet affordable kids clothing stores for you here.
You'd be surprised at how much money you can save by planning ahead like this and avoiding impulse buys!