I really think clearance is probably my favorite word. I know that is sad, but honestly, one of the only ways (besides their Mimi and Aunt Emily) my kids have stayed clothed over the last two years is clearance. Since our financial situation drastically changed 2 1/2 years ago, keeping my three kids clothed and in shoes has been a challenge. One thing I have gotten really serious about is getting clothes and shoes during end of season sales. Every store I am in, I am looking for smashing clearance deals, especially clothes and shoes for kids.
So far this year, I have purchased four pair of jeans for my three year old, E, for $2.50 each at Target and tennis shoes for $5. For my 5 year old son, J, three pair of jeans for $3, $6, $6, three long sleeved shirts for $1 each and a fleece ASU jackets for $3, as well as, three pair of flats for my 9 year old M for $4.75 each. Last January, I bought sandals and flip flops for all the kids for $2-$4 each and put them up in the closet to wait for summer.
I can not even tell you how nice it is to just go in the closet and get down a pair of shoes when one of the kids outgrows their current ones, and not have to rush out and spend $30 I do not have. I am not picky about season, I just pick things up in the size I believe they will be wearing when the time comes. I try to pick up things that are not too trendy or stylized because I never know what will be popular next year and so far this has worked out great! I spend very little money on clothes, but everyone continues to look well dressed! Today, the challenge is to write down everyone's sizes (clothes and shoes) for winter and next summer, even the adults...you need a list when you start noticing those big clearance racks in the coming weeks.