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Hi! I’m Jessie from the blog Utah Mom Connection and I am super excited to be visiting today at A Sparkle of Genius!

Kids grow fast and that means a constantly changing wardrobe. Updating a closet every season can get super expensive and be a huge strain on a family budget.But it doesn’t have to be! Today I want to share with you a few tips that I’ve learned to keep my kids clothed, and my budget happy.

Here are my 5 Tips to Saving Money on Kids Clothes

1. SHOP SECOND HAND: I used to completely stick up my nose at the thought of shopping second hand, and then I tried it! I was shocked with the amazing deals that I could find and that I get could name brand clothing for just a few dollars and sometimes just 50 cents! The trick is to hit up your thrift or consignment stores often and to not be pressured to buy something every time. A lot of times I won’t find anything, sometimes I’ll pick up one good item, and other times (like last week) I’ll hit the jackpot and stock up on a whole summer wardrobe from Gap, Carter’s, and Gymboree, for only $2 per item! If you haven’t tried second hand, you should!

2. CLOTHING SWAPS: Each year, a bunch of churches in my area get together and organize a clothing swap. They spend weeks telling everybody about it and collecting clothes for babies, kids, moms, and even dads! Basically instead of taking your clothes to the DI, Savers, or Good Will, you donate it to your church. Then they organize it all by size and gender and have a big “sale” one weekend. Except it isn’t a sale at all…it’s a swap! Meaning that all the items are FREE! I cannot tell you what a blessing this has been for me and for so many other families!

Don’t have a big clothing swap in your area? You can organize one yourself! It doesn’t have to be a big huge production like the one I mentioned either. You can call up a few friends and neighbors and pitch the idea. Get together one night and make a girl’s night out of it. Each person brings say, 10 items and you can all just swap! It’s a great way to bond with neighbors who might have older kids growing out of clothes that you just might need!

3. JOIN A CO-OP: This is an idea that I just recently heard about but I think it is a great idea. I got invited to join a Mommy Co-op group on Facebook. Basically it’s a big group that will do big orders on boutique like items that I normally could not afford. I love the look of the ever popular baby moccasins, but I could never fathom paying $60 for a pair of shoes for my 1 year old! By going through a co-op I was able to get a pair for just $14. Much more reasonable! They’ve also done buys for headbands, bows, leggings, baby ties, cloth diaper covers and liners, blankets, and so much more!

4. SHOP CLEARANCE: Whenever I enter a store I head straight for the back and try my hardest not to get distracted by all the new arrivals (and fully priced) adorable clothing displays at the front of the store. The back of the store is where the clearance typically is, and that is the golden spot. It’s true that clearance items are usually picked over, but I can usually find some good items and for super discounted, and don’t forget about shopping online clearance as well! Sometimes you can find great deals that way just make sure you don’t get killed with shipping charges or it defeats the purpose! Clearance sales are typically going on at the end of the season and some people think it’s a waste to buy clothes when the season is ending. I simply start buying for the next season. So when all these summer clothes go on clearance when the fall items come in I will shop for next summer!

5. BUY AHEAD: What in the world do I mean by that!? It just means that when I am out shopping second hand, swapping, or browsing the clearance racks that I don’t just look for the size that my kids are currently wearing. If I find a great deal on a jacket but it’s a size 5 and there’s no way my 3T wearing kid will fit into it this season I still buy it. Because in two blinks of my eye he will be in a size 5 and needing a jacket and instead of running out and buying one full price in a panic I have one all ready to go. In fact, I actually do this quite a bit. Most people have boxes of clothing that their kids have grown out of. I have a box of clothes my kids need to grow in to! Keep in mind I only buy ahead like this if I find a killer deal, absolutely LOVE the item, and know that I will need it at some point.

Alrighty! Those are my 5 tips for how I save my family money when we are out shopping for kids clothes! Being frugal can actually be a lot of fun and even my kids love helping me find a good deal! Hopefully those tips help you and you can shop for your kids without stressing about blowing your budget!

And thanks to Melissa for having me as her guest for today!

Jessie Larson

Make sure and visit Jessie at http://www.utahmomconnection.com/ for more great tips, activity ideas, recipes and deals.

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