In the past on this blog, I’ve mentioned how much I love shopping for my kids’ clothing at consignment sales. While I still do find these sales to be an excellent way to stock up on a lot of low-priced clothing and accessories for my children, I’ve hit a snag, particularly when it comes to my daughter’s wardrobe. She’s now growing out of toddler size clothing, and is wearing girls XS instead. I’ve noticed a dwindling selection in this size – and what is available is usually stuff that simply isn’t my taste – largely because kids stop growing as much at this age and wear their clothes for years instead of months, like they did when they were older. And, the longer they wear a garment, the more likely it is they’ll simply wear it out.

With this in mind, I decided to take advantage of my state’s sales tax holiday. The provisions of this holiday in my state allow me to pay no sales tax on individual clothing items below $100, as well as shoes. I knew this fall’s consignment sales wouldn’t be enough to completely outfit my daughter, as they’ve been in past years, so I headed to the stores to stock up.

My Three-Pronged Tax-Free Weekend Strategy

While I was definitely excited to bypass the combined state and county sales tax rate of 6.75%, that wasn’t my only approach going into tax free weekend. Additionally, I was lured to the stores on Friday, because my credit card of choice – Discover – was offering me 2% cash back on clothing purchases, double what I’d usually receive. Finally, I also decided to shop at a large outlet complex after a family friend gave me several coupons good for 20% off a minimum $40 purchase.

If you’re adding it all up, I stood to save 28.75% overall using this three-pronged approach.

What I Bought

I took my business to three stores for tax free weekend: The Children’s Place, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, and Gymboree. Here’s what I purchased:

The Children’s Place

  • Khaki Skirt; originally $19.99, on sale for – $12.99
  • Striped Half-Sleeve T-Shirt w/ Sequin Finishing; originally $16.99, on sale for – $12.99
  • Drop-Waist Tunic/Dress; originally $18.99, on sale for – $7.99
  • Short-Sleeve T-Shirt w/ Sparkly Butterfly Design; originally $6.99, on sale for – $4.99
  • Long-Sleeve T-Shirt w/ Ballet Shoe Design; originally $7.99, on sale for – $5.99
  • Hot Pink Skinny Jeans; originally $19.99, on sale for – $12.99
  • Denim Skirt w/ Sequin Embroidery; originally $18.99, on sale for $14.99
  • Glitter Head Band; originally $4.99, on sale for – $2.99

Osh Kosh B’Gosh

  • 3 Pairs of Fashion Tights (the cotton ones, not the nylons); originally $14 each, on sale for – $8.40 each
  • Corduroy Pants in Plum; originally $21.99, on sale for – $10.99
  • Plaid School-Girl Jumper; originally $15.99, on sale for – $7.99
  • 2 Knit Tops w/ Ribbon Detail; originally $9.99 each, on sale for – $3.99 each

Gymboree

  • Bootcut Jeans; originally $23.99, on sale for – $12.99
  • Red Ladybug Cardigan w/ Black Piping; originally $24.99, on sale for – $14.99
  • 2 Pairs of Knit Leggings; originally $11.99 each, on sale for – 2 for $16

The Subtotal

If you’d add up my purchases from those three stores, you’d see they come to:

  • The Children’s Place – $75.92
  • Osh Kosh B’Gosh – $52.16
  • Gymboree – $43.98

In all, the subtotal for my combined purchases was $172.06.

Factoring In The Tax Free Weekend Savings

My coupons for the outlet mall gave me 20% off any purchase of $40 or more, for which all of these purchases qualified. That brought my total to $137.65.

On top of that, I’ll get 2% cash back from Discover, since I used my credit card when buying the clothes. It’s not much, but it’s an extra $1.37 in my pocket (I’d have gotten 1% cash back, even if it hadn’t been tax free weekend).

What I Saved During The Sales Tax Holiday

Thanks to the coupons – which were good only during the three days of tax free weekend – my credit card’s promotion, and the no sales tax, I saved $44.65. While the average price per garment pales in comparison to the $2/item I spent during my last consignment sale. However, I purchased brand new items, which I hope I’ll be able to resell at consignment or, at the very least, donate to a charity and write off on my taxes a year from now.

Reader, do you think I shopped sensibly during the sales tax holiday? If not, where did I make a mistake?