Stocking Up To Save: Clothing

Buying clothing ahead for your child can either be a money saving opportunity or it cost you in the end.  At the end of a season, children’s clothes get marked down so much that it can be very advantageous to purchase items for next year.  Only problem is that it’s easy to get ahead of yourself without proper planning.  Keeping yourself organized plays a major factor in purchasing clothing for the next year.

Do you love to shop?  Do you love to save money?  Do you love to save time?  If you answered yes, these tips on buying ahead will give you the opportunity to do all three simultaneously!

Here are a few tips that may help you save time and money:


  • This may be the hardest part to buying ahead. Knowing or guessing your child’s size for the next year can be tricky. If you have a child that has been growing “normally” as in, he or she has been following the 6 months, 12 months, 2T etc. exactly, then it’s easier. If your little one decides to have sporadic growth spurts throughout the years, buying in advance is more difficult. If you can, make an educated guess based on their growing pattern.


  • Stick to picking up standard items that your child would need every year.  When it’s the end of summer and MyHabit is having their end of season sale, grab a couple pair shorts in neutral colors.    Jeans are always worn by kids and are not cheap so when you see them decrease in price, pick up a few pairs in different shades.


  • Keeping a spreadsheet or list of what you want to purchase ahead and what you buy is a great way of not going over budget and not buying too much or the same thing twice.  Remember to keep an updated copy with you in your purse or on your phone so that you can keep yourself on track.  This way, if you happen upon a big sale, you know exactly what you have already or need to pick up.


  • Figure out which of your favorite stores do the deepest discounts and still retain quality. Shopping at Zulily, Garnet Hill Sale of The Day and Ruum will get you steep discounts year round on both in and out of season clothing.


  • If you’re concerned about what’s “in” that season and if the piece of clothing makes you question the fact, don’t buy it. It doesn’t make any sense to purchase something that you are unsure of.  As stated previously, stick with staples that you know your child will definitely wear.

Holiday Wear:

  • Paying $100 for a Christmas dress or $50 for a Halloween costume can break the bank in some cases.  Purchasing these normally expensive pieces at full retail price surely makes you cringe so why not buy them after the holidays?  Cute Well Dressed Kids and Chasing Fireflies has a wide variety of holiday outfits, dresses and costumes.


  • This may be the toughest part of your child’s wardrobe to buy ahead for.  Those tiny feet can grow super fast or at a snail’s pace.  Knowing what size your child will wear in shoes the next year is a total guess.  If you do find a pair of shoes that you think you can’t live without and they are a steal, guess the size and just make sure you are willing to give them as of gift or list them on eBay if you guessed incorrectly.  Also, try to make it something that they can wear during most seasons like a pair of sneakers or Mary-Janes.


Rule of thumb: Go by the 75%:25% ratio.  If you can, buy 75% of your child’s wardrobe ahead on discount and leave 25% to purchase during the actual season.  This gives you the opportunity to pick up the standard staples in advance and leaves you room to purchase that adorable dress or those cute swim trunks that just came out.

You can save money and time by buying ahead but just remember to keep track and only buy what you know for certain you will use!

Once you purchase all of your child’s fun new clothes, read 7 Tips for Maximizing Your Space With Baby for organization inspiration.

Photo Credits: With a Red Bird On My Shoulder Modern CamelotThe Memoirs Of Megan

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Becca lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 year old daughter. She works full time as an office manager and is also owner and creator of Pumpkin Beads Jewelry which she sells on Etsy.

Leave a comment