Stylish on a Budget: Ways to Save on Outfitting Your Kids

closetI’ll admit it…as soon as we found out we were expecting a baby girl, I went a little overboard in the shopping department. As a first time mommy to be, little did I know that as newborns, babies pretty much wear footie pajamas all day, and that the rare occasion you do get a smocked dress on, there will inevitably be spit up on it in less than three minutes!

I did make some wise choices in shopping but have learned a lot in the past year. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up on for how to have the best dressed baby on the block (shhh! On a budget!)

Take inventory

If you are shopping pre-baby, take a good count of everything you’ve received as gifts, and organize them into piles or on hangers in the closet by size. Once you are organized, you can make a list of “needs,” “wants,” and “must-haves.” This can help prevent you from buying ANOTHER newborn onesie just because “it’s soooooo cute.” (Cue internal voice: You have a dozen already. She will outgrow it in two weeks. Keep moving!)

Shop end of season sales

This one can be a little tricky, because it is hard to know what size our kids will be in 6-12-18 months out when you are shopping before they are born. I bought Stella a darling little coat in size 6M thinking it would be a perfect fit for a five month old. It fit for about two weeks. Hey, at least I got it on clearance for $5.99! In all seriousness, this can be a great way to stock up on basics or holiday outfits to purchase out of season. Even specialty stores will discount darling seasonal smocked dresses sometimes up to 60%!

Consignment stores/Yard Sales

I love shopping locally at Once Upon a Child in Mandeville, and I’ve heard great things about Kid to Kid in Metairie. It’s amazing the bumbodeals you can find on very gently used clothing, and many times, items that are brand new with tags! You have to be smart when shopping, but I’ve found some fantastic bargains that don’t put a strain on my personal finances. Again, knowing how quickly they will outgrow the items, I definitely feel better about it knowing that I didn’t pay full price! You can also find gently used toys and nursery items. I purchased a Bumbo seat for $12 and bought a cute cover on Etsy. I haven’t personally shopped yard sales, but I have several friends that do and have had some great luck!

eBay/Facebook Re-sale sites

Same concept as the consignment stores, but from the convenience of your computer or smart phone! Gently used (GUC) or New With Tags (NWT) from many of your favorite designer brands – sometimes even with free shipping! Warning: highly addictive. (Wink.)

cupcakeOf course, there have been the dresses at boutiques that we simply HAD to have (Black & Gold smocked Fleur-de-lis for Saints season?  No brainer! $70 later…) But consignment stores, Old Navy and Target are my go-to favorites for every day wear, especially for daycare clothing. You will definitely get good mileage out of these basics and won’t have to worry about your daughter coming home in a darling white smocked cupcake dress that is filthy from crawling all around the classroom for eight hours (which might or might not have happened to me last week).

Any tips you’d like to share on how to save on kids’ clothing? Happy shopping!



  1. What great tips Trish!! I admit, I spend more time and money on Addison’s wardrobe than my own. I am a sucker for those Facebook smocked re-sale sites!

  2. I learned the hard way, too Trish. I bought so many “cute” items for Andrew when he was super small and I realized that he didn’t really need most of it. It is SO HARD when shopping for clothes for our little ones.

    Also, for anyone who sees this- there is a boutique in Metairie called Pickleberry that has a big sale twice a year to sell everything in their store 1/2 off! I bought Andrew a bunch of adorable Jon-Jons for this summer for about $20 each! Scott keeps telling me I can’t dress him in them, but poo on him! LOL

  3. I love shopping the Bella Bliss and Remember Nguyen sales every year. Bella Bliss sells summer stuff in August ($60 outfits for like $10-$12) and RN has their twice annual sale (same kind of deals). It’s a great way to buy clothes that are cute but affordable and you don’t feel as badly if they don’t fit (and then they can go into my “gift” pile for new babies, little happys for friends, etc)

  4. I’ve been shopping off or end season since my oldest was in my belly, and it’s def one of the best ways to shop!! I love how honest you are about your shopping!! I love bargain finding, kohls is one of the best places to shop at at the end of each season they will literally have racks of clothes marked down really cheap plus the gold star discount on top of that and you don’t need to have their credit card to get the savings which is awesome!! I was able to get Sophia a lot of play clothes such as carters onesies for about $2 to $3 a piece. Babies r us also has great deals, last year around January I was able to get my 3 boys coats for this past winter … Skechers coats that were reg price $60 each I got them for $20 a piece so basically 3 for the price of one!! I love target and old navy as well , and I have found great deals at Marshall’s as well!! Another way I have found to save is I invested in my own embroidery machine so I personalize all of my children’s clothes or other items I used to pay for to get personalized!! I agree on everything you say and it’s true how fast they out grow clothes it’s crazy , especially noticeable the first year of life!! Why can’t they still little?? :/

  5. Don’t forget the Rhea Lana’s of New Orleans sales for fall/winter and spring/summer! This year the spring sale was held in the Airline Park Shopping Center by Zephyr Stadium. Tons of traffic and over 20,000 items were consigned. I clothe my two kiddos mostly through RLNO and clearance/after season sales at Target and Old Navy. Brand new at full price is for FTMs!

  6. I always make sure I save money on my kids clothes. We just finished our summer clothes shopping at Barlington Coat Factory. They have great deals there, so most of the clothes we bought were about half what they would cost in the department stores, but they were the same designer name brands and the same styles. It was a great way to save money.

  7. Have you tried online kids consignment retailer, ThredUP for bargain priced kids clothes? Be sure to use code KPC35 to get 35% off + free Shipping if you are a new customer! You can score some really great deals this way…pennies on the dollar for high quality clothes for you & the kiddies.


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