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Babies grow at an incredible rate. It seems that every time you buy them clothes, they no longer fit and it's time to go shopping again. They need clothes every couple of months or so. This can be a serious financial burden. But what can you do? You can't stop getting clothes, because your child needs them. There are some alternatives to paying full-price for clothes that will only be worn for a brief period.

BUY OFF-SEASON
This is the best way to save yourself some big bucks! Around July and January, the stores start to get rid of their merchandise for that season. If you can afford to shop then, you can really stock up on clothes for the next season! Just buy the size that your child should be wearing the following year. For instance; your baby is 3 months old, you are looking at clearance summer clothes for next year when your baby will be 12-18 months old. Just buy that size!

SECOND-HAND STORES
If you have one of these stores near you, feel lucky. They sell gently used clothing and won't accept clothes with any flaws or spots (even a dot!) on them. You could sell your old clothing and purchase the current size your child is in for a fraction of what you would pay in a department store. The best thing is since children outgrow their clothes so fast, most of the clothing sold is like brand-new!

SALES & COUPONS
Shopping this way is a little difficult because you have to be at the right place at the right time unless you know before-hand that a sale is going on. Some stores have mailing lists that notify you when they are having sales or send you percent-off coupons. At least you get to save some money.

OUTLETS
Shopping at the outlet stores can save you a little money also. They have brand-new clothing for less than the department stores. But it's usually only a dollar or two.

HAND-ME-DOWNS
If you know someone who has a child the same sex as yours (and older), you could use their old clothing. As their child outgrows clothes, they can give them to you and your child. This way the clothes really get some use and you save A LOT of money!

GARAGE SALES
This is another alternative if you absolutely cannot take advantage of one of the other options. Sometimes you can find decent clothing for hardly any cost to you. But it is hard to know which sales have your child's size, since it is not advertised. But if you don't mind searching, it could be worth it!

STRETCH-OUT WHAT YOU HAVE
You can try to use what you have for as long as possible by using these options.

Extenders: These attach to the bottom of snap-crotches and make the outfit longer. It won't work if your child is too wide, only if length is the problem.

Buy big: Buy your child's clothing in a size larger than what they are. This way the clothing will last longer. But don't buy them too big, otherwise your child can't wear them comfortably now.