carter's socks

The boys and I were at Kohl's the other day and oh my HOLY MOTHER of sales. All our favorite Carter's kids' clothes were discounted at least half off…and that wasn't just the clearance stuff.

kids clothes at kohls

We may have gone a little overboard. It got me reminiscing back to the days of my childhood. My mom and I would go shopping precisely once per quarter. She had the sales down to a science and would set a strict budget for me to stock up and get everything I needed in one fell swoop. I do the same thing now, partly to maximize budget but mostly out of convenience. Getting my kids in and out of a department store without a meltdown takes some serious coaxing. Thank God Kohl's has a toy section!

When to Stock up on Kids' Clothes

If all the back-to-school sales have you a little bewildered, here are my tried-and-true tips for getting the most kids' clothes for your buck:

  • Go early OR late. If you're a style-watcher and you know exactly what brand, size, and colors you want then you should hit up those sales as soon as they hit so you can have your pick of the lot. Otherwise, hold off until the back to school frenzy has died down and stores are looking to offload their excess kids' clothes in preparation for the holidays. You'll find deeper discounts later on in the season.
  • Shop on a Wednesday. Studies show that you'll save the most on kids' clothes mid-week.
  • Know your sale cycles.¬†Things like bikinis and coats can be snatched at a discount when they first come on the racks and demand has yet to ramp up, or after everyone else has gotten their seasonal necessities taken care of. Just don't get caught shopping mid-season. The single best day of the year to buy kids' clothes? December 26th!
  • Think long-term. If you see a hot deal on an item you don't need right now, consider if you can stash it in the closet until next year. Basics like jeans and tees never go out of style.
  • Take advantage of bonuses.¬†Sign up for store flyers, and don't forget to check sites like RetailMeNot for additional discounts. When you see special incentives like Kohl's Cash, plan ahead and make a mental note of what you'll redeem next time you shop.
  • Pay attention to signs. If a store is advertising, “Lowest Prices of the Season” (I saw these signs ALL over when I was at Kohl's!), it's not going to go lower and you should get it while the getting's good. Be sure and note sale end dates if you want to come back with friends or other family members.

baggy outfit

Always buy a size up. It's better for kids to be growing INTO their clothes rather than growing OUT of them.

buying baby clothes with baby

Sets can equal big savings. I love those 4-piece outfits for the little ones because I can mix and match them for days of different looks, or layer them for longer seasonal wear.

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Buy clothes that pull double-duty. This shirt is actually from a Carter's pajama set but it was still clean when he woke up, so I let him wear it on out to playtime. Lazy or efficient? Depends how you look at it! Carter's is such a high-quality brand, I've found their clothes can often be worn for a long time without stretching out or looking too worn.

wondering the best time to buy kids clothes?

What are your big tips for saving on kids' clothes?