Shopping for teens and tweens can be a challenge, especially if your family is on a strict budget. This is the case in our family, and with four kids it is essential that I look for savings at every corner. Saving on clothes does not mean buying poor quality clothing though, and it does not mean that my kids need to feel different or left out, because they are not wearing the same brands as their friends.
See, I know that brand names are not supposed to mean anything, but let’s face it – to tweens and teens brand names usually matter.
I grew up without brand names, but I still remember how it felt the day that I showed up at a new school in my regular big box store clothes, and I still remember my first piece of brand name clothing. It was a woolen sweatshirt that my older brother had bought for the money he earned at his after school job – he put it in the dryer and it shrank….. Oh what a joy it was to have my first piece of trendy, brand name clothing.
So, with four kids I in the family, I do my best to find great-quality clothing for all of them. We might never be able to buy a $25 shirt for any of them, but it does not matter. All four of our kids are well-dressed, in high-quality brands, and while there are Walmart and Target items in between, we make sure that the clothes they wear will last for a long time.
Good quality clothing does not automatically mean brand name clothing, but thanks to my own experience I know what a difference pairing up non-brand clothing with a few pieces of brand name clothing can mean in the life of a teen or tween.
Our three boys are not brand-conscious, and thankfully they do not like shopping. Fortunately for them, I love shopping, and so they never have to worry about feeling left out at school. So far we’ve been fortunate enough to have schools with uniform policies, but it is coming to an end. The next schools that they will attend, are non-uniform schools, and from my own experience I know that brands will matter.
How To Save On Clothes For Teens and Tweens:
- Shop online consignment stores for brand names – shop with coupons, buy clearance and shop on free shipping days
- Shop local thrift stores for brand names – shop on 50 percent off days if possible
- Use $10 off $25 coupons at Macy’s and Kohl’s to find brand name clothing (some name brands are excluded)
- Use $10 off $25 coupons at JCPenney to shop for basics (name brands are usually excluded from the coupon)
- By basics wherever you can get a great deal, big box stores, JCP, Macy’s, Old Navy etc.
- Use $10 off coupons to shop for name brand shoes at Kohl’s – We recently found Adidas and Nike shoes for $13 after coupons!
- Give your kids a clothing allowance – set a monthly amount that you can afford, and they will have to save it up if they want a brand name item.
- Teach your kids the value of a dollar, teach them early how to shop with coupons, show them how to find coupons on their phones and how they can stretch their dollar by shopping clearance.
- Buy ahead, so that you will never have to pay full price.
- Have an organized storage system by age and gender, so that you always have a box of clothes ready, when one of your kids move up a size. This way you’ll never have to buy at full price, and you’ll just have to supplement a few things at sale prices.
- Teach your kids to take care of their clothes
- Consign clothes, sell clothes and swap with friends. We start out with consignment for the high-end items, then Craigslist, finally the yard sale and if it doesn’t sell, we donate it to Schoola to help raise funds for our schools.
One of the most important things when it comes to raising frugal kids is installing a frugal attitude early on. From our kids were little they’ve been calculating savings, final totals, before and after coupon spendings etc. Often, if I have$10 off $10 or $5 off $5 coupons, the kids go shopping. They figure out what they can buy, how much they have to pay out of pocket etc.
Here in the Frugality Is Free family, we are all about buying ahead. Our oldest son is wearing size 18 in jeans, size 12 in shoes, and he is moving into mens sizes with everything else too, as he is tall. We also have a nine-year-old son at average height and a five-year-old son well above average height, so the two of them are close together in clothes.
Then of course there is our little princess. At 2 years old, she is wearing size 2 and 3, but I am already thinking ahead. If I can get clothes for free online or by shopping with coupons, I will pick it up many sizes bigger than she uses.
And yes, it is possible to shop for free. We always take advantage of free shipping offers and sign up offers. Once we like a store, we share our experience with our readers and that’s how we get extra store credit to shop for.
Our Favorite Online Consignment Stores:
Sign up for Swap.com here, get free shipping on your first order of $10+.
Now, in addition to getting free and extremely cheap ($1 and less) clothes online, we also use online earnings sites to earn money to shop for. Kids ages 13+ can earn their own gift cards online, and for younger kids you can earn the gift cards, and these can be gifts for Christmas and birthdays.
Our Favorite Places To Earn Gift Cards and Money Online
How do you save on clothes for tweens and teens?