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Sarah Willingham

My Piggy Pick
of the week

1-minute guide to Children's clothes on a budget

94% of mums spend more on their child’s wardrobe than their own

The average cost of a one year old’s wardrobe of clothes is £327

Children only wear each item of clothing around 12 times!

By shopping smart you can save up to 90% on your child's clothes

 

Need to know

  • Children grow incredibly quickly - 25cm in the first year, 6cm a year from aged 2 onwards
  • The difference between shoe sizes is 8mm. Baby feet grow at 1.5mm a month, children’s at 1mm a month – this means that a child will grow out of a pair of shoes (a whole shoe size) within about 8 months (if you’re lucky!)
  • The BEST place to buy the basics are the supermarkets.  You can get packs of vests, t-shirts and tops for not much more than £1 each, especially in the end of season sale
  • You can get some great second hand bargains on auction sites like eBay and through local events such as NCT sales
  • Don’t be put off by the price of high end brands - get on their mailing lists, follow them on Facebook and twitter and you’ll be the first to hear about discount codes and sales
  • You can get higher end brands- and stylish international ranges- at greatly reduced prices through secret sales sites
  • Spend now, re-coup later – If you do decide to blow the budget on the odd high end piece, sell it on later. We have sold our Mini Boden second hand clothes on ebay for more than we paid for them in the sale!
  • If you are in a temporary financial freeze, some companies like Littlewoods let you spread the cost of your purchases if you take an account with them. BUT always read the small print and be sure you’ll be able to pay off the total (with interest) in full to avoid being stung by ridiculously high APRs (which most of them have)
 

Secret sale and discount sites

Casabu

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Why we like it:

  • flash sale site for parents
  • up to 90% off
  • sells toys and equipment as well as clothes
  • sales from a range of brands including Fisher-Price and Chicco
  • FREE DELIVERY UNTIL 5TH APRIL

Watch out:

  • delivery takes 10-14 days
  • delivery normally costs £3.95

What happens next

 
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Half-Pint Chic

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Why we like it:

  • sources gorgeous childrenswear offered at slashed down prices
  • won’t swamp you with emails – just one weekly sale notification

Watch out:

  • £3.95 postage

What happens next

 
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Tiny Labels

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Why we like it:

  • designer clothes at half the price
  • wide range of brands and products
  • great quality and could sell on
  • secure online payment

Watch out:

  • £4.95 postage
  • after discount the clothes are still pricey

What happens next

 
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supermarkets

 

Nearly new and auction sites

NCT Sales

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Why we like it:

  • usually a brilliant range and choice of items at rock bottom prices
  • contrary to popular myth you don’t have to be an NCT member to go along to your local nearly new sale

Watch out:

  • you have to go there and battle with the crowds and the queues – get there early

What happens next

 
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Ebay

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Why we like it:

  • literally thousands of items available
  • refine your search according to size, condition etc
  • look out of ‘clothing bundles’ which could work out cheaper
  • good for out of season items

Watch out:

  • individual sellers won’t accept returns
  • check the seller has a good rating

What happens next

 
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Preloved

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Why we like it:

  • wide range of children's clothes
  • has second hand designer options
  • free membership
  • can sell on after use for free
  • monitored site

Watch out:

  • seller will set the price so may be expensive
  • register option a little hidden- select 'new member' then press Log In
  • does not handle the payments so use your best judgement

What happens next

 
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Spread the cost sites

Littlewoods

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Why we like it:

  • allows you to buy now and pay over 20 or 52 weeks interest free, or pay nothing for 12 months and pay off the full amount interest free
  • very good seasonal sales
  • 10% off first order
  • free delivery and free returns

Watch out:

  • BEWARE High APR of 34.9% if you spread the cost over more than 12 months so make sure you pay everything off
  • have to be organised to run an account to avoid missing payments

What happens next

 
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The inside track

  • Brands that hold their value particularly well include Joules, Boden, Gap and John Lewis
  • Know the jargon – when you are buying online - BNWT/BNWOT – means brand new – with or without tags
  • Look online for shoes. You can usually save up to 70% by buying shoes online. Clarks are now selling foot measurers so that you can measure at home, giving you the choice to buy from anywhere. It is a bit of a faff but allows you the chance to measure and buy quickly online in a sale

 

Here are our top tips for getting the greatest value out of your kid’s clothes:

  • Avoid one piece outfits with feet in – there is literally no room for them to grow
  • Don’t get sucked in to matching sets – items are easily lost or stained
  • Do a colour check – avoid colours such as orange and dusky pink that don’t go with many things.
  • Patterns can be more forgiving if you have a particularly sickly baby or messy child
  • Don’t get guilted in to organic – yes, it’s lovely and soft, but fabric conditioner is cheaper

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