- Personal Finance
Economy budget for kids clothes- hidden and unadvertised savings
Working in retail, I know first hand how to shop for children's clothing on an economy budget.
I will tell you few ways to buy new and trendy clothes for kids while saving lots of money.
My first advice is to go shopping without your children. Boys usually don’t care about clothes and they tend to get bored fast, thus you will fill rushed. Girls tend to want too much, too many, to expensive, so they will override your economy budget.
My second advice is to set up priorities. You know you’ll need shoes, jeans and tees, and basic underwear. These items needs to be replaced often and the jeans and shoes are expensive. If you are like 90 percent of the moms and dads I met you’ll end up buying jeans every month to replace the ripped ones. (How do they wear them off so fast?)
My third advice is to find a store where you can stop often, at your convenience. Doing so you can accomplish few things: check the sale for the best deal, occasionally run into an incredible savings opportunity and establish a good relation with the clerk that can give you insights into what kind of promotions they’ll have in the future. You don’t need to shop only at one store, in fact this will be a mistake. But if you do not have time to go window shopping everywhere then at list you would be able to take advantage of some of the great savings that a store can offer.
Here are some hidden and unadvertised savings
Shop clearance for next year
But don’t rush to buy at first markdown, which it may only be a 30 or 40 percent off the original price - not that much of a saving. Wait until the last markdown when you find clothes as low as one or two dollars.
Watch for end of season clearance which can happened in March-April for winter and October-November for summer. The best items you can buy are jeans, tees and winter jackets and hats.
Ask a clerk about special markdowns. This kind of saving happens usually at the end of every month or trimester and means that some items are priced for fast sale. These items are sold in one or two days and sometimes they only last few hours. You either get lucky or have some inside information. You can find basic underwear, socks, accessories and miscellaneous items sometime as low as 99 cents.
Special saving programs
Some stores have special saving programs that are offered free to customers. Most of these savings give you money back for your spending, other offers instant discounts or points. For example Gap has a 10 percent saving every Tuesday when you use their visa card. This program also works at Old Navy and Banana Republic.
Sears has a more sophisticated program that offers coupons and let customers exchange their children’s worn out clothing with new ones at no cost. You should ask stores around your area if they have something similar.
Discount, discount, discount
Any item that is damaged, stained, defective or is missing any part or attachment can qualify for a reduction. Don’t be shy to ask for it if that’s the only item or if you want it badly. Some stores would try to offer you a similar one in good condition, others would tell you they cannot sell it to you that way, but the majority of them would be happy to get rid of the garment and sell it to you at a discounted price.
Other ways to shop on an economy budget
All major clothing retailers have their own lines of clothing. These items are much cheaper then national brands and the quality is pretty much the same. Another advantage of buying store brands is that you can return and exchange them even without receipt because nobody else carries that name.
Buy one get one
Once in a while companies promote certain products as buy one get one free. These saving event are worth your money on clothes that do not go on sale so often, usually basic stuff like jeans or socks and underwear. The best way to take advantage is to buy two different sizes, one for this year and one for next year.
Even if you think you don’t need any more credit cards sometime is worth having one at your favourite store, just to take advantage of special discounts when you use it. Usually you can get a percentage or a dollar amount of your purchase, or you are offered a gift card. To make the best of this type of saving you need to pay your clothes with that store credit card and then pay your balance right away. Some stores accepts payments at the register.
Store special events
Some stores have monthly events where shoppers are invited for extra discounts. Most of the time, these savings can be paired with coupons, making them even more valuable. They are usually called Friends and Family nights, V.I.P. events, Early Birds or Late Nights Specials. Sometimes they are advertised in the ad and if they are not, just ask a clerk for the next one.
If you decide to buy online then you should look for free shipping. Otherwise you’ll end up spending few extra bucks for each item. Also, look for online specials, which are cheaper then in store or ask for a price match if you decide to get it from the store.
And now, that I told you everything I know, let me give you one more tip for your economy budget.
When you are done shopping take a look at your receipt, all the way down, past the total. Do you see an invitation to take a survey? Then do it. It may be your next saving pass. And give them good scores. Most of them deserve it.
Short classification of children clothing.
1. The basics - jeans, tees, underwear and sock.
Among these basics jeans are the most expensive. They don’ go on sale often. Jeans, along with tees, are also one of the top selling item for kids. The jeans tend to rip in the knees more often then you are prepared to replace them. The best time to buy them is the back to school season.
2. Special occasion dress wear - suits, dress pants and shirts, dresses.
These type of clothing are among he most expensive items in a wardrobe. If you get lucky you can buy them on sale but most of the time you end up paying full price. And you have to add dress socks, tights, a tie, a purse and hair accessories. The best time to buy them is just days before Christmas or Easter.
3. School uniforms - not an one time a year deal. You’ll probably need to replace a soiled shirt or a ripped pant. The best time to buy them is back to school season.
4. Outerwear can be really money eater if you buy them during cold season. The best time to buy them is on Black Friday or few weeks after Christmas.