A Frugal Mom’s Guide to Buying Baby and Toddler Clothes

frugal mom guide to buying baby and toddler clothes

Everything is so expensive it seems like these days. I cant be the only one who has noticed this, right? Groceries cost a small fortune, toys can be outrageous, and clothing too! I consider myself to be a frugal mom. Out of necessity and out of habit. When it comes to buying clothing for a child, it can really get pricey. Babies and toddlers grow so fast and are so messy. I personally cant justify spending a huge amount of money on clothes that will need to be replaced in a few months. Here is my frugal mom’s guide to buying baby and toddler clothes.

Why I am Frugal with Kid Clothing

I know not everyone will agree with me, and if you don’t that is perfectly okay. However, I just can not justify spending $20, or $30, or $40 on a single item for my child. Brand name or not. Kids grow so fast! Honestly, my son has blown through some sizes in a matter of weeks. I just don’t have the cash flow to spend large amounts of money on a new wardrobe for him that often.

Mom to Mom Sales

I am new to the world of mom to mom sales. I only recently discovered how great they are. You can read about that HERE. These sales can be great for finding deals on clothing. Because babies and toddlers grow so quickly, you can often find like-new or actually new-with-tags clothing for a couple dollars an item. Even better, you can haggle over the price! It’s a great way to save some hard earned cash when buying baby and toddler clothes.

Garage Sales

I always like to check out garage (or rummage) sales. Again, like the mom to mom sales, you can often find great prices and can haggle with the seller.

Re-Sale Shops

I love going to resale shops. You can often find excellent deals on clothing. Some of my favorite outfits my son has had growing up have come from Salvation Army shops. The trick is to find these shops located in or near ritzy neighborhoods. Locally, I have found so many really nice brand-name items with original tags still on them for next to nothing. Even items that are slightly worn can be worth it if you are only paying a dollar or two. These make great play clothes.

Swap Sites

Facebook mom swap sites are another great resource for buying baby and toddler clothes. You can often find groupings of clothes by size and gender, which is great if your child just jumped a size and you have nothing.

With these though, I always urge caution. Meet in a safe public place. Many of our local police stations now offer designated swapping areas right in their parking lots. You just never know who you may be meeting so always be careful.


Okay, so I know Walmart gets a bad wrap a lot of times. Honestly though, they stock some very adorable clothing for babies and toddlers. Some people say that the clothes are cheaper quality and will fall apart fast. Well, I can speak from experience when I tell you this: My rough and rowdy 3 year old boy has never destroyed an item of clothing from there. The clothes we have purchased have always lasted until he has outgrown them. All of those items have been passed down as hand-me-downs, and have survived another infant and toddler boy as well.

From a frugal standpoint, you can not beat the price. You can get pants and shirts for $3-$4 each. Jeans for around $10. At those prices, even if my child destroys the clothes after a couple wears, I don’t care.

Children’s Stores and Department Stores

Children’s clothing stores and department stores can be great for buying baby and toddler clothes. They just take a little more work sometimes. If you want to get the best deals, be prepared to wait for sales. Utilize any rewards programs available, like Kohl’s cash for example, in order to save the most money possible. Target has their Cartwheel app that is also a great example for how to remain frugal while buying baby and toddler clothes.

More Frugal Tips and Tricks

Wherever you shop, always be on the hunt for deals. I do a lot of comparison shopping online when I know I’m buying baby and toddler clothes.

You can often find free shipping, or pick-up in-store options too.

Take advantage of apps like Ebates whenever possible to gain cash back from purchases.

Wait for the sales! I recommend signing up for email lists of your favorite stores for buying baby and toddler clothes. You will often be notified of upcoming sales, promotions, or receive coupons.

For more on saving money, click HERE!


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About Lisa Wingerter

I'm a 32 year old, married, stay-at-home-mom from the Metro Detroit area

View all posts by Lisa Wingerter →

30 Comments on “A Frugal Mom’s Guide to Buying Baby and Toddler Clothes”

  1. I think we could be great friends! I’m all about saving money. Most of our baby clothes were hand me downs from various people. And when we do buy, price is always a factor!

  2. It’s very rare for me to pay full price for my kids’ clothes. They are 3 and 5 and are always on trend! Our closets are stocked with the next few sizes up. I find that each year I get a few key pieces that they love, at store price. Even better if they get to choose.

    1. That’s the way to do it! Honestly, I figure when kids get into their teen years, they’re going to want pricier clothing. When they are small and don’t know the difference, you may as well save where you can.

  3. Great tips! I try to stay frugal as well because the clothes either get dirty in a matter of minutes or he grows out in one season! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Such a good guide! We have so many hand me downs that were given to us from my sister in law. Or we go to the outlets. I can never spend a ton on baby clothes woth how quickly they grow.

    1. Yes! My son is 3 and the size of most 5 year olds already. So you can imagine how fast we have blown through clothing sizes! I’d be living in a cardboard box if I bought an expensive new wardrobe for him at every growth spurt!

  5. I was so fortunate that when I was expected I was given more clothes than I could handle from cousins, neighbors, and family members. This made it so I could really splurge on some nice outfits I like from Children’s Place or even a Swim Suit from Janie and Jack! My next daughter I had right after the first and so I have actually, as my oldest hits five, just started having to actually purchase clothes. But I have always been a sales lover at heart; Target and Children’s Place have been my definite go to!

  6. Great content. I personally do not mind second hand items for my daughter. She luckily gets a lot of her things passed down from her other cousins and when we can we look for the best deals. I really like that you added a few options that many parents may not consider, especially first time parents 🙂 Great job.

  7. I’m the same with refusing to spend too much on clothes they wear only a few times. I also do a lot of laundry so he doesn’t need too many different outfits. Haha. I usually go for the sales at Carter’s and Kohls and target. Those are my go tos! Burlington and marshals can be good too, you just might need to dig a bit.

  8. Great tips and I fully agree! I always shopped walmart when my babies were younger, they outgrew it before we could ever wear it out! I also did outlet stores and the hand me downs were the best!!!

    1. Hand-me-downs are also great! We got some before my son was born, but nobody in our families had boys or even babies close in age to ours so we were sort of out-of-luck on that front

  9. I could never justify spending lots of money on my kids clothes when they would put grow it soon. Lucky for me both my kids stayed small so some tjung they wore longer. My favorite place to buy clothes is at Walmart.

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