Thank you Old Navy for sponsoring my post today about baby and toddler styles. Old Navy is giving you 30% off everything in their baby and toddler summer collection, plus get an additional 15% off in-store.
As the mother of two young sons I know all too well that it can sometimes be hard to find the right style of clothes for little boys. It's even harder to find stylish boy clothes without breaking the bank! Almost everywhere I go when shopping for Aiden and Jagger I have to pass through the massive and stylish little girl section to get to the minuscule blue, pooh, truck and football filled boys section. After I spend 15 minutes walking past the endless array of adorable little girl items I then have to spend another hour or two searching through the very few racks of little boy clothes to find one or two suitable pieces for the wardrobes of my two beautiful little boys.
Over the last four years I've taken a crash course in how to find the much coveted stylish little boy clothes and get them for my boys, without spending the salary of a fortune 500 CEO in the process. Today I'm going to share my secrets of how I dress my kids in all the latest styles on a budget with you all. There's no better reason to break the bank than your kids, but I promise that you don't have to. Stick with me and you won't even have to break the piggy bank to keep your kids in the coolest and newest styles!
Secret One: Know what you like, know what you want and know your kid!
After a certain age it's not going to matter if you paid $1.00 or $100.00 on an outfit or a shirt for your child, because once they start developing their own interests and preferences if they don't like it, they're not going to wear it! When my oldest son was two he started to develop a personal style. He started developing his own preferences for certain colors, styles, characters and so on. So knowing what your child likes, what they want to wear, what you want them to wear and what you need when you go into the store is a must! I'm never rigid about knowing what I'm looking for, I know what style I'm looking for, and I know that Aiden needs more of this than that, and Jagger needs shorts but not shirts for example. This is half of the battle, because if you don't know what you want, what your kid wants and will wear and at least have a loose mental note of what they need then you're going in without a game plan, and you're likely to overspend and buy things that your kids don't need.I know what stores carry the styles I want for the price I want to pay for them. I have a pretty regular game plan that I generally go by. I know where to go to get my kids their good clothes, their play clothes and everything in between. I've got an email address with the sole purpose of getting newsletters from the stores we frequent, my favorite online shops and other newsletters. That way I always know when there's going to be a sale. It's a very rare day when I pay full price or top dollar for any clothing item for my kids. Sales, not diamonds, are a girls best friend, especially after she has kids. Diamonds do come in a close second though, especially chocolate diamonds. But I digress, use the sales, use any discounts you can! I sometimes buy play clothes from Family Dollar for the boys, and I even use the coupons for those when possible.
Secret Two: Know your sales and discounts, know where to go to get them and know your price range and your stores!
I also know what stores have the styles I want within my price range. I like stores where I can get good clothes and play clothes in one stop. So for that I go to Old Navy, Kohls, TJ Maxx, Gabriel Brothers, JC Penny and of course Wal-Mart. Some of those stores you really have to dig in, take your time and search, especially TJ Maxx, Gabes and Wal-Mart, but it's so worth it!
When I'm just looking for some play clothes that are gonna get ruined in a month or two of playing outside I go to Family Dollar and K-Mart in addition to the stores above. It just depends on where I can get a sale at. I've been really into getting Granimals from Wal-Mart as play clothes for the baby, because I do not care if he ruins a 3 dollar pair of shorts or a $2.50 shirt. Granimals is also great if you need a solid colored shirt to go under a plaid or other print button up shirt, that way you can leave the button up open.
Secret Three: Budget for it!
I have a friend who is an accountant. She gave me one of the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten! I was asking her how to budget, because I honestly did not know how - budget was not in my vocab! She told me that what she does is take out so much money a month, and put it up for twice a year shopping trips for her girls. If you do that then you're not paying for them all at once, it's the smartest thing I've ever done! She does the same with shoes.
Secret Four: Buy it in advance....if it's a crazy good deal anyway!
I saw a pair of shoes at Old Navy recently, it was their plaid canvas flip flops just so you know, and Jagger's foot is still a bit too small for them, and it's not flip flop weather here consistently yet. So I bought them anyway, because I got them for 5 or 6 bucks! I loved them so much I couldn't pass up the deal! I did the same thing at Shoe Show for Aiden recently. They had this adorable pair of leather converse, our favorite brand of shoe for Aiden, but they only had them one size up from the size Aiden currently wears. So I bought them anyway. Why? Because they were leather converse for 15 dollars. That's at least half off, and I could not pass it up! I've also recently gotten Aiden some school clothes for next year, long sleeve shirts and such, for as little as 2 dollars on clearence at places, I just buy them in a size too big. If it's something you like, and it's on clearance buy it! Keep it put up, and then you've got a head start for school next year, or when your child goes up a shoe size they already have a pair of shoes at the house that you got on a fabulous deal.
Secret Five: Know what you're willing to splurge on and what you won't!
I will splurge on jeans for my kids. I'm a stickler for their good jeans to be good quality jeans. Aiden likes his jeans to be distressed, a darker wash or like his Daddies somehow. There are very few places that I can reliably get good quality, stylish jeans at in Southern West Virginia for an 18 month old and a 4 year old. So I'm willing to pay a little bit extra. So for those we head to Old Navy! I know that they're going to have the jeans my son wants to wear, in a price range I'm comfortable with and that the quality is going to be superb. I'm about to buy some nice jeans for Aiden's school next year from Old Navy for $12.00 a pair, they're on sale from $16.50, not a huge savings, but enough to make this mama happy!
What are your secrets for shopping for your kids on a budget?
I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.