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Saving money on kids’ clothes, or buying them on a budget is an art form we’ve spent years perfecting.
Whether it’s knowing how (and where!) to return little jeans that got holey knees, or scoring an easy $10 off your purchase — we’ve got 19 tips to ensure your kids are lookin’ good without breaking the bank.
1. You can return Target’s Cat & Jack kids’ clothing line for up to one year.
Just hang on to that receipt and you can take it back for a full refund, or exchange it for some new clothing.
This is Cat & Jack’s actual policy. From the Target website: “Cat & Jack is made to last, but if anything doesn’t, you can return it up to 1 year later with your receipt.”
Folks, this is not being a sleaze ball. If a company invites me to return something if it breaks or wears out, I’ll oblige.
2. Get $10 off The Children’s Place when you sign up for emails.
Enter your email in the pop-up offer box when you first visit The Children’s Place website to get $10 off your purchase.
3. Get 18% off plus free shipping when you sign up for Crazy 8 emails.
All you have to do is sign up for emails and enjoy the discount.
Shop the clearance section to stack the discount on items starting at $2.88!
4. Return your kids’ clothes to Costco if they fall apart.
Again, the key is to not take advantage of this policy. That said, you could technically return your kids’ apparel anytime.
Stick your receipt and tags in a drawer for later, but just remember that if you abuse this system too much, your account could be flagged.
If you’re not comfortable with this tip just move along to the next one…
RELATED: You Shouldn’t Have a Costco Membership Unless
5. Get 25% off at Carter’s or 50% off The Children’s Place using RetailMeNot promo codes.
Last time I checked, RetailMeNot had promo codes for 50% off your entire purchase at The Children’s Place, and 25% off your purchase at Carter’s.
6. Avoid 100% cotton material and go for a blend to avoid shrinking.
This may be a no-brainer, but no matter how cute something is, always look at the tag.
Make sure cotton clothing is blended with another type of material like spandex or polyester to avoid shrinking.
Kids grow out of their clothes fast anyway, and shrinking will only make it worse!
7. Get $5 off for every $100 you spend with My Place Rewards.
The rewards program at The Children’s Place is definitely #WorthIt. Sign up to get $5 off when you spend $100.
8. Install Ebates on your browser to get 1.5% cash back on Etsy’s handmade items.
When you install the Ebates widget, a little note will pop up in the corner of your browser alerting you of cash back offers wherever you shop online.
You can even get a 1.5% cash back rebate for handmade items on Etsy!
9. Get 80% off when you shop The Children’s Place’s online clearance section.
Score high-quality clothes for rock-bottom prices at The Children’s Place. Shop at the end of a season to get a whopping 80% off.
10. Purchase discounted gift cards for up to 10% off your favorite brands.
Check Raise.com and GiftCardGranny.com for instant savings when you purchase clothes with discounted gift cards.
Here are a few average discounts (when they are in stock!):
- The Children’s Place: 10% off
- Walmart: 2-3% off
- Carter’s: 2% off
- Target: 4% off
TIP: Use Ebates to get another 1% off your Raise.com purchase!
RELATED: 29 Gift Card Hacks You Should Be Using
11. Check your Ibotta app for cash back on clothing.
We already love the Ibotta app for groceries, but be sure to check it for apparel rebates too.
You’ll see retailers offering clothing rebates — for example, KMart recently offered 6% cash back on apparel (which you can pay for with a 6% discounted gift card)! Plus, you don’t even have to upload a receipt to Ibotta to claim a KMart offer, because the offer will connect with your KMart Shop Your Way rewards card.
12. Buy longer dresses to last at least two years.
I always buy my daughter’s dresses long so she can wear them for at least two years — sometimes three!
As the dress gets shorter, we simply add leggings underneath to stretch the length a few more months.
13. Buy your kids’ shoes at least one full size larger than they currently need.
Think the shoe fits perfectly?
Size up one full size (not a half-size).
They will run just as fast, and you can make it through at least two seasons (or maybe three or four seasons?) without having to buy new shoes.
14. Shop outlet stores to score at least 25% off retail.
While mainstream retailers typically mark up items by 50%, outlets only mark up items around 25%.
This means you’ll save an instant 25% on retail prices — even if an item’s not on sale!
Sign up for emails to receive outlet coupons for even deeper savings.
15. Exchange outgrown clothing for store credit at your local consignment shop.
Most consignment stores will offer you either a tax write-off or store credit in exchange for your item donation.
Exchange any clothes your kids (or you!) have outgrown, and get store credit to turn around and purchase gently-used items for your kids.
16. Get Target’s Cartwheel app for additional discounts of up to 30% on kids’ apparel and shoes.
Choose the deals you want, and scan your app’s barcode during checkout to get extra discounts.
Cartwheel’s deals often apply to clearance items for brag-worthy savings!
Related: 17 Easy Ways to Shop Smarter at Target
17. Hand Grandma a Christmas list that includes “clothes” instead of toys.
When the kids’ grandparents, aunts, uncles, or friends ask what your child would like for a birthday or holiday, try giving just two suggestions: a need (clothing), and a want (something fun, like a toy).
Or skip the toy, and just suggest clothing and shoes.
18. Get the Target REDCard for an additional 5% off and free shipping.
Target’s REDcard is a debit card that works just like your debit card, except you get an additional 5% off everything plus free shipping.
Stack it with discounts on the Cartwheel app when buying the Cat & Jack brand, then return items within a year if your kids wear them out!
19. Get name-brand items for $1 at the thrift store.
Kids outgrow clothes so fast that parents often donate very gently used (or not used at all) kids’ clothing to their local thrift store.
Get high-quality name brand items like Gap, Gymboree, or Carter’s for a buck!
UP NEXT: 33 Thrift-Store Hacks from a Professional Thrifter