NCT nearly new sales – These happen around the country and are a great way to find cheap clothes, toys, books and equipment for children, especially under 5s. I came away from my last NNS with several huge bags of lovely quality things for a fraction of the price I would have paid elsewhere. NCT members can get into the sale 15 minutes earlier than the general public, and sale volunteers are often allowed a quick shopping break between setting up and opening the doors to shoppers, so if you have some time, it’s worth volunteering to grab superb bargains. It’s also pretty fun to volunteer at a sale, and it’s basically a few hours out without your kids, having a laugh and meeting other parents, then coming home to your family loaded with bargains. Our local NCT branch provides lunch free of charge to all volunteers too!
Ebay clothing ‘bundles’. Whilst you probably wouldn’t buy a big bundle of assorted clothes in your dress size for yourself, this works well for children’s clothes, as kids move through the sizes quickly. Search for ‘bundle’ then age and gender of your child. It’s much cheaper buying clothes this way as you save on postage and packing. If you buy a big collection of clothes and don’t want or like all of them, You could swap some with other parents, or sell them on.
School table top sales. Even if your child is not of school age yet, school jumble or table top sales often have parents selling kids clothes, toys and shoes for a fraction of the new price, without the same level of competition found on ebay. Go along, support your local schools, have a look around, grab bargains. Win win! If your children are at school and they don’t run sales, maybe you are the motivated parent they need, to get involved and organise a sale!
Gumtree, and facebook selling sites. These have largely replaced the newspaper classified adverts of previous decades. Look out for your local gumtree site, and search facebook groups for ‘baby equipment’ or ‘childrens clothes’ in your local area. Facebook selling sites are also sometimes referred to as ‘facebay’, so try searching for that too!
Freecycle. For freebies, join a local freecycle group, or search for freecycle facebook pages related to your local area.
Charity shops. To get first pick of the bargains, volunteer to help out once a week! A recent discussion amongst my fellow mums was polarised between those who preferred to go to charity shops in well heeled areas to buy expensive brands, and those who preferred charity shops in poorer areas for sneaky super-bargains. I quote ‘If you shop around here, they don’t know what Boden is, so if you do find any it’s 99p along with the Primark and George stuff!’
Friends and Family. Talk to your friends and family about your interest in saving money on clothes for your children. Friends or siblings with older children may be very happy to help you out by passing on outgrown clothes, and those with children smaller than yours may be happy to take your un-needed items off your hands!