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It may come as a surprise to hear that the large discount stores aren't always cheapest when it comes to your kids' clothes.
I'm not saying you should avoid them: these big-box discount stores like Walmart, Target, and so on are actually very affordable options, especially in the baby and toddler sizes. But they are not your only option, and they are not always cheapest.
For example, one fall I was looking for boys' khaki-style pants for my son. At Walmart I was looking at around $15-20 for the styles I liked in the boys department. I found I could get similar styling in the same sizes at around $12-15 at The Children's Place, an affordable boutique-style children's clothing store. If you are looking at buying more than one pair, the savings add up quickly.
Prices fluctuate all the time, and different stores run different specials all the time. So I'm not saying the budget-friendly boutiques will always be cheaper than the big-box stores – it depends on the item, the timing, and other things. But the take-home message is, never assume the boutique-style children's stores will be out of your league if you're on a tight budget. They can often even be your cheapest option, especially above the toddler sizes. So shop around – it's fun! It's definitely worth having more stylish and budget-friendly alternatives to Target and Walmart.
I wish I'd known this earlier. For years I didn't even set foot inside stores like The Children's Place – I just thought it could never compete price-wise with the big-box stores. I was wrong.
These popular children's clothing stores can be cheaper than big discount stores
I highly recommend The Children's Place, Old Navy and Carter's as the three best starting points.
But there are several other affordable and stylish options that I also recommend. If you don't know where to start, then click here on my separate post listing some of the most affordable places outside of big-box stores for kid's clothes. I personally have shopped at those places before and this has worked out well for saving me money.