When I was pregnant I went nuts with researching and buying baby stuff. Once we knew we were having a little girl, I became obsessed with all the cute baby clothes out there! I purchased items and didn’t care if she was only going to wear them for a short time. I figured we were having only one child so why not!?! And then the bills came in and I quickly realized that a couple hundred dollars doesn’t go a long way these days and of course the cuter the outfit, the more expensive it was. So despite my pregnancy hormones overwhelming me with the need to buy adorable little outfits for my precious little bundle, my bank account forced me to reconsider.
So I approached baby clothes as I did with planning anything else to do with my little one. I quickly discovered that with three steps, I could save hundreds on my clothing bill for Ella.
- Find a few brands that fit your baby’s size fairly consistently. All parents know that despite the label indicating 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 2T, 3T etc. that not all babies/kids are the same and not all fit from brand to brand is the same. In our case, we found that Carter’s/OshKosh, and Old Navy/Gap sizing fit Ella extremely well while Gymboree was big, Children’s Place was small etc. Once you can fairly easily rely on buying certain brands and knowing how it will fit, you reduce the time wasted to exchange/return items and the chances of wasting money on things that they won’t be able to wear.
- Plan ahead for the next season and take advantage of the end of season deals! I always buy Ella’s clothes one year in advance so for example this winter, I already have almost all of her clothes purchased for the next winter and I’ve been doing this since she was a baby. I’ve been able to buy brand name items for 50-90% off regular price. I’ve been doing this year after year and I’ve only had under 10 items not fit properly over the last 5 years due to this strategy. And given that I rarely pay over $10 per item the amount of savings I’ve been able to take advantage of well outweighs the risk. And if you buy a tad large, it isn’t a big deal as you can always roll up pants or sleeves and dresses still look cute even if they are a tad long or a tad short (that’s what those cute diaper covers are for!). Several parents I talked to were hesitant to buy their clothing in advance as they never knew how quickly a child would grow but you start to get a feel for how your baby falls on the growth curve and if they are average or above average they will likely keep on that track so you can buy your sizing accordingly. This coupled with #1 above, helps you predict what sizing they will be next year at the same time with specific brands of clothing.
- Sign-up for e-mail coupons and notifications. As some of you may know, I’m all about on-line shopping for the time savings this gives me. This is also an advantage coupled with the e-mail notifications as I can quickly act on the end of season/clearance sales to ensure I get the best selection. In addition there are often coupons for an additional savings such as 20% off the lowest sale price so I can double dip on savings. This has helped me to keep to my target budget of no more than $10 per item of clothing.
In addition to the enormous savings following the three steps above, we also get some hand me downs which is great to take advantage of as well. The savings has allowed me to splurge on a special Christmas or birthday dress every year for Ella without any guilt!
Please share and comment below if you have any other tips that have worked.
And if you have two seconds to spare, don’t forget to support my blog with one click on the banner below. Thanks in advance for your support!