Expert Money-Saving Tips
Cutting costs at home is a cinch with this advice from readers and experts
Dress for Less
Size her up. "When my favorite brand is on sale, I buy my daughter's current size and the next one," says Maryse Cassamajor of North Lauderdale, Florida.
Say hello to hand-me-downs. Round up a couple of other moms with kids the same gender as yours but different ages, and host a twice-a-year clothes swap.
Shop "the big three." Old Navy, Gap Kids, and The Children's Place rotate merchandise often -- ask when they do their markdowns so you can grab the deals (it's typically midweek). Also, if you see an item you boughtin the past 14 days on sale, you can get the difference refunded -- you don't need the clothing, just the receipt.
Score at Consignment shops. Don't confuse these with thrift stores. Consignment shops have high standards for what they'll accept, whereas thrift stores will sell virtually anything that's donated to them. "I can buy a season's worth of near-new clothes for my two children for $45 at a consignment shop," reports Liz Lollar of Keizer, Oregon. Visit stores in upscale areas and you can shop like Jessica Alba -- minus the star-salary price tag.
Browse craigslist.org. You can find top-quality duds on the cheap, but also think about selling your child's outgrown brand-name outfits. "I often get half of the retail price, it's easier to use than eBay, and the transactions are local, which makes me feel more at ease," says Cassandra Lurate of San Antonio, Texas. (Enter your location, then click on "Baby and Kids.")