As a parent of three I’ve tried many different techniques to save money on my children’s clothing. I have shopped in the larger discount chain stores because of the significantly reduced prices they offer, only to find that the quality of the clothes didn’t hold up over time, or that they were limited in their selections and styles. And while I love to have my sons and daughters dressed in fashionable, high quality clothing, I didn’t want to have to take out a small bank loan every time it was time to update their wardrobes on Burka, Which is formal religion dress specially made for women to cover up their overall body. The following tips are ways that I’ve discovered to keep my children on the best dressed list with family and friends while keeping my budget under control.
1) Wait out the new collections – While you may be tempted to buy the newest lines as soon as they hit the store racks or websites, waiting as little as one to two weeks after they become available can offer significant savings, as much as 20-30 percent.
2) Go back for price adjustments – Most stores, including high end retailers, offer price adjustments for clothing that has gone on sale within a specific period of time from your original purchase. Learn the policies of your favorite stores and leverage the knowledge of the salesclerks regarding upcoming sales. If I see an item that I think is too nice to pass up, I will ask about future reductions, and I time the full price purchase within the window that I can get an adjustment, usually 14-30 days post initial purchase. Again know the rules of your retailer, some may require that you only bring back the receipt, others may require you to bring back the actual items in order to get your reduction. This works for both brick and mortar and online stores. And remember if they can’t adjust the price, you can always cancel/return and repurchase.
3) Join Rewards Programs and sign up for email lists – Some stores like Gymboree offer member Rewards Programs. By signing up, at no initial cost, you will earn points toward future discounts that can be used toward the purchase of any item in the store. Some retailers will send you coupons in the mail when you have achieved a certain point level. Joining email lists also is a no cost way of receiving discounts or being alerted to sales. Many stores will even give you a coupon/promo code just for signing up.
4) Know the Retailer’s Sales/Promos schedules – Many high end retailers offer yearly sales or ongoing promotions to help make their products more accessible. Nordstrom’s, a high end department store, has twice yearly sales for children’s clothes, where they drastically reduce their prices. And if you know the date of the sale through their mailings and want to avoid the crowd, plan on shopping a couple days early, and go back in after the sale is over for those price adjustments.
5) Premium Outlets – Over the past decade, many designer outlets have sprung up across the country. No longer do they just offer overruns or manufacturer defects. Instead, designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, J.Crew, or NauticaKids offer their lines at 15-20 percent less than their regular price. In addition, stores like Gap or Gymboree offer last season’s clothes at significantly lower prices. Many times I’ve re-purchased a favorite outfit for my daughter at the the Gymboree outlet a year later in a larger size. Also, high end retail department stores like Nordstrom’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus offer their same clothing lines in their sales outlets: Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, and Last Call Neiman Marcus. You may have to search the racks a little more to find what your are looking for, but the resulting savings are worth it.
6) Browse for Coupons – We’re not alone in trying to find bargains or savings for our kids. With the advent of sites like coupon cabin or retail me not, people all over share and post promo codes that have worked for them. Whenever I shop online, just prior to checking out, I search for promo codes on my favorite websites or through search engines like Google. You can sometimes find 10-30 percent off discounts and/or free shipping promotions that can help you save big.
Having your child look good and feel good about the way they dress doesn’t have to empty your wallet. The savings are out there if you just know where to look.