9 Tips To Buying Boutique Children’s Clothes At Big Box Prices

This is a guest post done by my friend Jen. It proved really popular when she first wrote it so I’m running it again.

“You must spend a fortune on your kids’ clothes!” I hear this sentence no less than a zillion times a week. While it’s true that my kids look like a million bucks~I’m their mom, I’m allowed to say that~I certainly don’t spend that on them. In the way that many have learned to work CVS, I have learned to work Gymboree and Gap Kids.

When I only had one kid I would buy things on sale but I really didn’t pay much attention til my second daughter was born. That was the day I was bitten by the “MATCHING BUG.” Suddenly, not only did I need to buy clothing for a newborn and a kindergartener, but they had to match! All the time! It all came to a screeching halt when my husband noticed the gaping hole in the checking account. Oops. Thus began my quest to shop at Gymboree for Walmart prices. I never pay full price~duh!~but smallest markdown I pay is 50% off and that is only for special things like holiday dresses or one-piece swimsuits that are so hard to find.

Here are 9 tips for never paying full price.

1) Never shop in the front of the store. Brand new full-price merchandise is up there.

2) If you see something you love on the clearance rack but it’s not your size, ASK! Things are stored in the backroom and you just might find it!

3) Markdowns generally happen on Mondays and sales generally happen on weekends~ Thursday through Sunday.

4) Never shop without a coupon. Many magazines have coupons in them. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask the sales associate if there are any coupons they can give you.

5) Always stack. Stacking is using a coupon on top of the sale price.

6) “Extra 20% off sale prices” sales are frequent. You can use coupons on top of this to get stuff CHEAP. Here’s an example. I wanted the sweater dress above for one of my girls to wear to a family Christmas party. It hit the stores in early October, as most Christmas lines do. The full retail price was $36.50. I waited til mid-November when it was 40% off so the marked price was $21.99. Then I waited until they had a Extra 20% off Weekend which knocked it down to $17.52. I then STACKED my 20% coupon which brought the price of the dress to $14.02. Pretty good price!

7) Plan ahead. When it is 85 degrees here, the stores will be showing jeans and sweaters. WINDOW SHOP now and BUY later!

8) Buy ahead. Gymboree does a BIG sale twice a year~December and July~where all the past season stuff is $4.99. Add a coupon on top of that and you have some great deals!

9) Gymbucks. Several times a year Gymboree has Gymbuck earning periods. For every $50 you spend you earn a Gymbuck which is a coupon for $25 off a $50 purchase at a future date. I use my Gymbucks to buy clearance merchandise. Last October I bought summer sets that were already 40-60% off with my Gymbucks and saved almost 70-80% on some things!

Jen is the proud stay at home Mom of 3 little girls and a boy. She blogs about her hilarious antics over at 3 Little Dutch Girls and a Boy.

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