The first level is the bottom of the pile, and one I use for most of my kids play clothes. I define play clothes as those that I'm not concerned about how messy they get. I don't try very hard to get stains out and once they are unwearable they go in the rag bag. Generally I find these clothes at second hand stores like Deseret Industries, Kid to Kid, Garage Sales and through hand me downs. I refuse to spend more than a couple of dollars per clothing item. Each of my kids has 5 or six outfits worth of these clothes.
The second level contains clothes that I consider "nice." These are outfits that are acceptable for parties or special outings. My school age child wears these clothes to school and comes home to change into playclothes. She also has more of these than playclothes. The toddler and the baby only have 2-3 outfits each.
The third level is sunday clothes. Each of my children has 3-4 very nice dresses or shirt & ties to wear to church. We try to make these the very best that we can.
The nice clothes and the sunday clothes I will buy on clearance or at outlet stores. I like shopping at Ross and Kohl's Clearance racks. I've also found a lot of great deals at online clearance sales. My price point is around $6 for shirts and no more than $10 for pants or $15 for a set or dress. I have conditioned myself to almost always head right to the clearance rack in almost every store I enter (no matter what I am actually there to get).
I'm also on the look out for percent off coupons. Unless prohibited in the small print of the coupon, I will use these on clearance or sale items for even better deals. Coupons can be found in mailers and through online newsletters or in the Happenings Books every school age child sells at the beginning of the school year. If you have stores near you check online and get on their mailers and sale notifications. Everyone wants you to shop at their store.
Next week I'll share a couple of my favorite tips for getting great deals online. You don't have to spend a lot of money to clothe and care for your family, but you do have to keep your eyes open and learn a few tricks. Happy Shopping.