How To Stretch Your Clothing Budget For Little Girls

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I am often asked several questions about how can my husband and I afford to have a big family. Having 5 kids, soon 6 our clothing budget can be expensive but ours isn’t.  How do we do it? 


Purchase clothes at consignment store or thrift stores.  Some thrift stores have certain days that offer discounts for certain items, know what days are for clothing and save.  We used to have a consignment store near me that had $1.00 racks for kids clothing on certain days and many of these clothes were big name brands, check around your local area, maybe you have one of those consignment stores too!.


Trade or rotate clothing with other families that may have little girls around the same age.  


Take hand me downs from friends or family. I find these to be the best! My kids have gotten garbage bags full of clothing from friends and family members that their children outgrew. At times I have not had to buy clothes for whole clothing sizes! 


Scour clearance racks. My favorite places to scour clearance racks are Target (the 70% off racks are the best) or Walmart.  Also purchase clothing for the next season, for instance as summer comes to an end purchase swim suits for the next year. Sometimes these items are more than half off because the retailer wants to get rid of it for their next seasons clothing. 


Do not get rid of or pack up clothing that maybe getting a bit too short, here are a few tricks:


○ When pants or leggings are getting a bit short,  they can still be worn as capri’s. 


○   If dresses are getting too short, it’s OK put a cute pair of leggings underneath the dress which now may look like a longer shirt! 

 Joy clothing


Purchase larger sizes when you do find bargains and store future sizes in Rubbermaid type bins with lids labeled with the size on the outside.


To make our clothing last longer I line dry all pants, shorts and shirts. I know it takes work but I have noticed that even the big name brands have shrunk in the dryer. 


If you are planning on having more than one child, save the clothing for the next child. I have one closet full of kids clothing that is separated by size and stored in Rubbermaid bins. Then I do not have to purchase much for the next child. I have been doing this since my 1st child was born in 2005. I am thankful I have done this because I had no idea I would be having 6 kids!


Let’s face it kids can be messy, make clothes last longer by immediately getting out any stains.  I have noticed certain stains will not come out if you wait. 


What about you how do you stretch your dollars with your children’s clothing budget? 


  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    I only buy jeans for my boys at thrift shops. They are always coming home from school with ripped knees, so I refuse to buy them new ones.

  2. What a great idea to turn the short dress into a cute top with leggings. You can find some great things at thrift shops.

  3. These are great tips! Your daughter is adorable and I love that you turned the dress into a top!

  4. It’s like you read my mind! I was just cleaning out my daughter’s closet over the weekend and thinking about how to best maintain her wardrobe without spending too much.

  5. Love the suggestions. We definitely take hand me downs. My daughter is using all my nieces clothing at the moment.

  6. I am a big hand me down advocate! In my home we have ALL girls and a grand daughter… Ages 10 to 4.. so my littler girls are loving all the extra clothes and shoes that they inherit.

  7. Great idea the trading part. When I was a kid I was used to get my oldest cousins clothes and I always thought that was very cool. Was like shopping for free =)

  8. It’s so much fun to dress girls. These are great tips since they grow so quickly.

  9. I have been getting my Granddaughter a lot of nice clothing at yard sales. Little girls don’t wear their clothes out like little boys do so they look new.

  10. Great tips, I’m sharing with my sister!

  11. Great suggestions! My girls seem to grow so quickly. They go through clothes like crazy too, way worse than my boys it seems!

  12. My son is all about shorts year around. Hitting the thrift stores on off season help to find great deals.

  13. So true, the larger clothes will always fit later on; they grow into them pretty fast! Some amazing tips here

  14. These are some great ideas. I wish we could have used hand-me-downs.

  15. I loving shopping at thrift stores because you can find so many quality items there. Also you can get about 8 outfits for under $30.

    • I agree! I went to Salvation Army today and got my son 2 pairs of jeans (1 pair was Guess jeans), my daughter a dress, a skirt and a Frozen t-shirt, my older son a shirt and a skirt for me and spent less then $17.00!

  16. These are such great ideas and tips! Thanks for sharing!

  17. I totally do the dress/capri thing! My daughter is luckily a slow grower so we are still wearing 12-18 month clothing at 2 yrs old!

  18. Awesome money-saving tips to make old stuff look fresh.

  19. Great tips! I have three girls saving all the money I can helps a lot with clothes

  20. I had an older sister so I know all about hand me down. I have 1 girl and she gives her clothes to neighbors or our nieces no hand me downs for her.

  21. Those are great tips. I used them when my kids were little. Clothing does not have to be expensive to be cute and stylish.

  22. I do the same thing. Dresses become tunics!

  23. I love shopping at thrift stores. I do it all the time! 🙂

  24. I love those tips. It is all about saving money for me!

  25. Debbie Denny says:

    Clearance and thrift stores work so well. Great tips.

  26. Children’s clothing has gotten so expensive in recent years that it is nice to be able to save a little money on it. These are some great ideas for doing so.

  27. great ideas for stretching your budget. I was never into second hand clothes for my kids when they were little though. But I know it makes sense for a lot of families

  28. I rarely buy clothes for my girls, I use all of the tips above and work to keep that budget low. We take a lot of hand me downs and shop at consignment stores as often as possible.

  29. I always love hitting up the clearance racks! She looks adorable!

  30. I try buying as big of a size as I can get away with so it extends the amount of time my son is in the clothing.

  31. We have tons of leggings that the girls wear to extend their dresses, as well. They love them…as they hate giving up things, lol. Thanks for the tips. I have two girls and every bit helps

  32. Those are all great ideas. My daughter wore hand me downs from friends and then she passed them on to others in our church. She also wore short pants as capris. I never thought about pairing a short dress with leggings – that’s a cute idea.

  33. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    Kids go threw there clothes so fast. It is easy to find great pieces at the second hand stores. I like looking at yard sales for clothes. I always find great deals.

  34. Great ideas. I don’t have a daughter yet, but I wrote a guest post for Money Saving Mom a few years ago about building a child’s wardrobe on a budget.

  35. Jennifer Williams says:

    Great tips, my friend does a lot of those. I have a hard time finding items at thrift stores, I tend to do better on clearance racks. Luckily I have a friend that has a little one older than mine and younger so we bounce clothes back and forth.

  36. it’s okay to reuse , recycle and be thrifty, it’s a way of life and helping not just you and your family but also our mother earth for a sustainable life

  37. Good tips! I have a little girl and we definitely do the pants that are too short as capris! haha … no one can tell though!

  38. I hit the clearance racks to load up on clothes. And I grateful took the hand me downs from friends.

  39. I love the leggings trick on small dresses! It really works! Great ideas for not breaking the bank!

  40. My youngest children are twin girls and I can testify that the information you shared here is accurate and on point.

  41. Great tips and suggestions! We are always looking for ways to trim our budget!

  42. First off what a cutie with a creative use of sweet little outfits – and yep when I was a single mom – I used the same type of tactics for my little one – great tips

  43. Great tips! We do the short dress / legging thing too! My daughter is petite so she actually has a pair of toddler capri pants that fit her perfectly as shorts! LOL The important thing to stress about consignment shops and yard sales is do it while you can when the kids are young. They’ll know it’s okay and normal and not feel like it’s because you’re tight on money.

  44. Great list! I love that the dress turns into a long shirt with shorter leggings/capris! I love the line drying too. I try to line dry and take things right out of the wash and put them on hangers. That’s so true, it really does preserve them!

  45. These are all great tips and I’ll be sure to utilize the ones that I went AHA! at with my newest bundle of joy! lol! Thank you so much!!!

  46. Those are great ideas. I usually trade with my neighbor who has a girl older than mine. it helps a lot

  47. I like the clearance option. I still can’t full grasp the Consignment options. Little Girls are so easy and fun to shop for. Great Tips

  48. I am a big fan of swapping clothes with friends for our kids and I am a clearance rack freak! I love shopping end of season for the next year.

  49. It’s amazing to me the things you can find at consignment stores! We have bought clothes that really looked new and even some still with tags.

  50. Hand me downs are great! Kids grow out of their cloths so quickly.

  51. She is beyond cute! Love these ideas.

  52. I love this post. I have boys and I am going to pass this along to my friends with little girls. Thanks for sharing

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