Where to Find Reasonably-priced Toddler Clothing

Toddler clothing gets expensive. Here's how to save.

It is no secret that the cost of raising a child is high. Clothing your kid is only a (small) part of that hefty price tag and can seem like an inconsequential expense when you consider higher ticket items like childcare or (gulp) college tuition. But one way to cut the cost of raising a kid is to shop smart when it comes to their clothing – especially when they are young.

Toddler clothing may not seem pricey at first glance, but toddlers grow so quickly that it is easy to spend a little here and there every few months – not to mention, your toddler is likely hard on his play clothes (staying clean is not typically a toddler talent). Bottom line: Your toddler’s ever-changing wardrobe adds up, which is why it pays to find reasonably-priced clothing. Here are five places to start the search.

Consignment Sales

Consignment sales are a fantastic way to find gently-used toddler clothing, as well as other items for babies and young children. Schools, churches and other community groups often will hold consignment sales featuring children’s items as fundraisers. Consignment sales are typically held in the fall and spring, and feature clothing appropriate for the  current and next season (for example, fall and winter; spring and summer). Keep an eye out for great deals on higher-priced children's brands and special occasion clothing, and don't forget, if you are buying for the next season, make sure you size up. 

Garage Sales

You will likely find the best deals on toddler clothing and kid equipment at garage sales, but you may only find clothing for boys or girls, and the sizes and styles are likely to be limited. If you hit a garage sale that has your child's size, this is a great opportunity to stock up on play clothing and other items that have already been well-used. Keep in mind that most garage sales take place during the summer months, but you'll often find clothing for all seasons. You can also get an even bigger bargain by negotiating the seller down in price. 

Community Moms Groups

Moms (and dads) wanting to unload recently-outgrown toddler clothing will likely first look to their local parenting networks for quick sales. If you are a member of a mom group or parenting group on Facebook, Babycenter or Meetup (to name a few sites) or if you use an app like Tinyhood or OfferUp, these forums will often allow members to post items for sale. Even better, from time to time, clothing might be posted for free. If you are in the market for new-to-you toddler clothes, keep an eye on these groups and be prepared to respond quickly if you are interested -- these items, especially high quality pieces, will likely go fast. 

Thrift Stores and Secondhand Shops

If you can't wait for consignment or garage sale season, thrift and secondhand shops are a great place to look for lower-priced clothing for your toddler all year round. You may need to hunt a bit more for clothing in good shape, but you can find bargain play clothes at thrift stores. For special occasion clothing, search secondhand shops specializing in like-new, higher quality pieces. 

Online Consignment Shops

If getting out of the house to comb through thrift stores or garage sales for hidden gems isn't going to fit into your schedule, you can find great deals on toddler clothes online. Online stores like thredUP and Swap.com offer curated, gently-used secondhand clothing. Because these online shops handpick the clothing they accept, you'll often find high quality pieces at a lower price. 

And here's the great news: When your toddler grows out of her wardrobe, these options present great opportunities for selling as well! 

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