It all started on my way to D.C. last weekend when I spied the Hagerstown, MD Prime Outlets. Immediately I thought "Hmm, we have a date on Wednesday, Dear Outlets, on my way back to Ohio." I was not disappointed in what I found. I'm sure our nearby outlets in Aurora, OH and Grove City, PA, which have many of the same retailers, have the same deals.
Children's Place - At the outlet, all their winter items were on sale with an additional 50% off the last marked price. Just seeing "50% off already discounted prices" on a sign thrills me to no end (yep, pretty easy to do these days). They had so much inventory. I stocked up on 3T & 4T pj's, winter jackets & warm fleece. Our local Southern Park Mall has some of the same products (plus winter boots) but discounts vary from 30-50% off the last price.
Carter's - They didn't have much winter clothing remaining. All of their winter/cold weather pj's were $5.99 with a very limited selection of winter clothes. I would call ahead to our nearby outlets before setting one's sites on this store.
Osh Kosh - A definite worthwhile store to visit for winter clothing on clearance. Prices were above Children's Place but below Carter's.
Don't think that only the outlets have deals to be had. During clearance season, I stock up on the next 2 sizes for my daughter when I see great deals. I purchase clear plastic containers, label them according to the size and season and little by little fill them up with clothing. I manage to spend $10, at the most, with most items in the $1-3 range. This winter, I didn't need to purchase much for her at all because I already had it in my bins.
Target - I am always walking through the various departments searching their clearance racks/areas. I refuse to pay full price for anything these days. It is just plain silly when you begin to learn the short length of time it takes for something to go on clearance. I've also learned that if I see a large number of something in clearance, I can wait until it is at 50% or 75% off. It is a sign of the times that so much of Target's inventory is at 50%-75% off right now. For the last 2 weeks, they have had excellent sales on children's clothing with some sweats and t-shirts at $.94.
Old Navy - I was there on Saturday & Sunday to buy up their 50% off the last price items. I stocked up on some great, casual t-shirts for me (from $2.50 - $4) and basics for my daughter (same price range).
Kohl's - I have always been disappointed with their sales for children's clothing. For anyone that shops at the above stores, you know that you can find similar quality (sometimes the same brands) at a lower price. Nevertheless, they do have a great selection of holiday dresses for girls.
Express & The Limited (for the mommies) - If you shop these stores regularly, as I've done the last 25 years, you get to know their sale cycle. They are at the point of 30-40% off their clearance items now.
Last but not least (and PTA's take note), a good friend of mine in Avon Lake invited me to the mother of all garage sales at their local high school. It seems that the PTA organizations on the west side of Cleveland plan huge "Kiddie Kloset" sales in their gyms. They charge a parent for a table, they bring their items for sale and both PTA's & parents make money. I went to one last year and couldn't believe the deals. One can even find used Little Tykes outdoor equipment, bikes, strollers, cribs, etc. in the Big Item Room. I actually stood in line at 6:30 a.m. with a friend and couldn't believe how quickly the line filled up. The crowd was non-stop for hours. I know that there was something sort of similar at Boardman Park this past summer but it shut down at noon which is too short & they ran the risk of having rain which would have canceled the event. I can't believe that none of our local PTA's have heard of this and I hope someone takes my advice, visits one of these sales and copies the concept here. Check this resale events link, too.
Once Upon A Child - I love this store if I need something that I know my daughter will grow out of quickly. I've only purchased items like booster seats and developmental toys because I manage to find better deals on clothing at end of season clearance time or at garage sales.
Dillard's - When they have their huge clearance sales, especially on shoes, one can get phenomenal deals. If anyone has the inside scoop on their next, great sale, please let us know. :)
I hope this helps all the price conscious mom's out there. I know all of us are looking for ways to cut corners these days. And, if you have the scoop on some good deals, please share!