Frugal Happenings: Simplify Children’s Clothing

Frugal-HappeningsThis year I’m on a mission to curb our expenses as much as possible.  Over the last few years, we’ve cut quite a bit, so I have to be creative to find new ways to save.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Gymboree.  Part of the appeal is that Gymboree clothes come in adorable outfits and designs.  Another nice thing is that the clothes are usually durable and can make it through both my girls wearing them.  Finally, I can get the clothing for a good discount and often resell it on eBay for the price I paid or a little less, even after the girls have worn them for a season each.

However, because we have to pay a dollar per laundry load, we try to do laundry just 4 times a week.  That means if my daughter has a cute outfit that has black pants and a pink top, chances are the two won’t be clean at the same time since they’re washed in different loads.  Because the clothes have a particular design, putting a different shirt with the pants just looks silly.

I often ended up buying more outfits than I would like just to avoid this problem.  Considering the girls share a tiny closet, this solution wasn’t working either.

Instead, I decided that each girl will have about 5 pants and tops for the season.  I am now buying them in basic, mix and match solids so that no matter what clothing is clean, they will have something to wear.

This weekend I took advantage of Gymboree’s Orange sale, and bought PB & J girl the following clothes for next fall and winter:


I got these 5 shirts and 6 leggings from Gymboree for $46.70.  That is $4.25 per piece.  PB & J Girl will where them next year, and Cuddle Bug will wear them the year after, so each girl’s cost will be $23.35.

Best of all, they are mix and match, which will allow me to have a minimal wardrobe for each girl.

What is your strategy for saving on kids’ clothing? 


  1. We have been lucky enough to receive hand-me-downs for both our children. We literally spend less than $100 on clothes for both children each year! We do buy new shoes occasionally because they don’t seem to last as well.

    • You are lucky! I used to get hand me downs from my cousins, but there is no one close to my kids’ ages. I tried buying clothes at cheaper stores, but they were more expensive than the Gymboree clothes I can get with coupon and on clearance, and the Gymboree clothes hold up better.

  2. I think this makes perfect sense, but little kids clothing is so cute that I have a hard time choosing solid colored clothing. I tend to buy plain bottoms, which mix and match easily. I buy them on sale, with coupons, etc and then spend a little more on shirts that are bright and colorful (also purchased on sale with coupons, etc). Boys clothes get boring very quickly, so while he’s small, I want him to look adorable.

    • I agree, it’s hard. I buy more clothes than I probably should when I find a great sale, so I’m trying to curb that impulse. 🙂

  3. Zulily has contributed greatly to the overcrowding of my two youngest girls’ closets. :/ Now I justify buying clothes for Hannah with the thought that Katie will wear in later, but I’m still over shopping.

  4. I’ve been fortunate in that my father buys my children clothes as Christmas and birthday gifts so I haven’t had to spend too much money on them. My youngest gets his brother’s hand-me-downs with some new shirts (with animation characters he enjoys) sprinkled in every now and then.

    Stopping by from Blogging Friends.

  5. Hi Melissa, I do enjoy your blog! Just food for thought…is it an outdated notion that you have to do wash separately for light and dark clothes? I do all of mine together (for the kids as well as mine and my husband) and have NEVER had anything run. I think clothes are made differently these days with the dyes…just something to consider!

    Again, I enjoy your blog – keep up the great work.

    • Hi, Rachel. I hadn’t thought of trying. I always have images of ruining our clothes if we do that! Maybe we’ll give it a try.

  6. We rely on the grandparents a lot. They always want to get something, so we always say “clothes!” Mix and match outfits are a great idea though, and it’s something I’ll definitely consider the next time we go clothes shopping! It’s a good point to make especially since so many baby and little kids’ clothes come in sets. It can be difficult to find separates for kids under 2.

    • Thank goodness for grandparents! My kids’ grandparents do sometimes give toys, but often now they give educational activities, which we love!

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