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Money Saving Tips for Teen Clothing


My teen is trying to spend all my money on clothes. He’s into designer brands and streetwear and I love that he has a personal style. But why does this stuff have to be so expensive?! I have some money-saving tips for buying teen clothing that I am glad to share with you. These tips keep my teen happy and me not feeling like I am spending all my money. It’s a win-win. And I want to save you money too! 

Teen boy leaning against the back of a Chevy Bolt holding a Crossroads Trading bag.

This post was created in collaboration with Chevrolet. They loaned me a Bolt EV to help celebrate National Thrift Shop Day (August 17th). The Bolt EV is an all-electric car that has a range of about 238 miles on a full charge! 


Ways to Save Money on Clothes When Shopping for Your Teen

My 13-year-old loves those brands that are hard to get like Supreme and special “drops” of certain shoes. They are expensive and have a cult following. He also loves skateboard brands, which also can be pretty expensive for a t-shirt. And because he skates every day, he wears through his shoes SO FAST! 

Watch this saving money on clothes for my teen video again on YouTube.

So when we are shopping for teen boy clothing, I try to balance things out. He gets a few brand new pieces (that make me weep with how expensive they are – I’m not talking Gucci level expensive, but pretty dang expensive) and then I supplement his wardrobe with inexpensive items to make our budget happy.

One of our favorite places to shop to save money is Crossroads Trading. It’s like a curated thrift shop where you can find brand names, including the streetwear labels my son loves. 


Red Chevy Bolt electric car in front of graffiti wall.

I grew up shopping at thrift stores and I loved them because I could find totally one of a kind items that nobody else had. Plus it was super inexpensive! While we do shop at traditional thrift stores from time to time (and have found pretty good luck finding brand names!) we tend to head right to Crossroads. 

To get ready for heading back to school and to celebrate National Thrift Shop Day, we jumped in the Chevy Bolt EV on a mission to hit all 3 Orange County Crossroads Trading stores (Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Irvine) and see what gems we could find. 

This is the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier in Cajun Red. This car was so fun to drive! Even though it’s small, there is plenty of space in the backseat and lots of storage space. 

Teen boy walking into Crossroads Trading Huntington Beach

Money-Saving Tips for Shopping for Teen Clothing

Teen clothing can be expensive so here are my tips for cutting costs.

Shop at Resale Stores like Crossroads Trading

The very first time I took my son shopping at Crossroads (the minute he was big enough to fit into a men’s small since they don’t sell kid’s clothes), he found a t-shirt from a sought after streetwear brand. And he was hooked. And so was I since I paid a quarter of what a brand new one would cost! 

The prices are definitely higher than a traditional thrift store, but it just makes sense! Since the merchandise is constantly changing, it’s super fun to pop in quickly to see what’s new. Sometimes you find things and sometimes you don’t, but it’s a great place to save money on teen outfits!

One of my favorite style bloggers, Beth Jones, has some great tips for shopping at Crossroads! 

Ask for Hand Me Downs

We often think of hand me downs in terms of babies and smaller children, but it’s super helpful as the kids get older! We were super lucky to be on the receiving end of awesome clothes that my teen loves. These hand me downs allowed me to not have to fill out his entire wardrobe each new school year.

Instead, I felt better about spending a little bit more on the new pieces that we did buy. 

If you have friends or family with kids older (or at least bigger) than your kid, ask them for the hand me downs! 
Boy holding up sweatshirt as seen through a rack of clothes.

White T-Shirt Packs

My favorite money-saving hack for kids and teen clothes is the white t-shirt packs from the boys department at Target! The large fits a 14/16 and XL fits 18/20. You can buy a pack of 5 (with 3 extra shirts thrown in!) in a package that works out to be less than $1.50 a shirt!

A simple white t-shirt is classic and looks great with all kinds of shorts or pants. 

You can also create some fun DIYs with these t-shirts if you don’t want to just wear white all the time. You can make tie-dye, use iron-on transfer paper, draw, etc. 

Sometimes you can even find these t-shirt packs in colors! It’s such a great way to make sure you have enough shirts to get through the week without spending hardly any money at all! 

Teen boy holding brand name tshirt

Sign Up for Email Newsletters for Sale Info

I hate getting random emails from brands. But I learned a few years ago that if you are on the mailing list for your favorite stores, you usually find out about sales first! Plus, if there is a special coupon code, they usually share it right in the newsletter. 

This is my favorite for those stores that have sales often so you never end up paying more for things than you need to. After a while, you can catch on to how low they will go on items and wait for those time to buy. This has also helped me save money on small mom and pop brands that I really want but can’t usually afford. 

This is one of my favorite ways to save money on clothes for teens and myself! 

Boy holding two sweatshirts.

Clean Out Your Closet First

Instead of just shopping for things without a plan, I always clean out the kid’s closets first. This way we know exactly what we need and don’t just shop without any direction. It really does help to save money. 

It also shows me what the kids didn’t wear and so we steer clear of those items instead of wasting money on things that will just sit in their closet. 

And since you’ll see that my first tip is to ask for hand me downs, we always try to separate out the clothes and give them to friends and family before donating the rest. 

Girl trying on Porsche sweatshirt at a Crossroads Trading store

Sell or Trade Clothes at Crossroads Trading

I recently traded clothes at Crossroads for the first time. And it was awesome. They didn’t take everything that I had, but for the first batch I ended up with $50 in trade credit (you’ll get less if you take it in cash). And I took another batch and ended up with $30 credit. 

They keep track of the credit for you and it can be used all across the stores in Southern California. We used our credit at our first Crossroads stop on this shopping trip. :) We found so many great things! 

Check out these tips from the stylish Mary Elizabeth on how to sell at Crossroads. 

We ended up finding t-shirts from Element and Volcom, hoodies from Thrasher and Stussy, Converse High Tops and a pair of fashion sunglasses for my son. I ended up with a cute leather purse by Rachel Zoe, a black bathing suit cover-up, a dress and a cute spaghetti strap jumpsuit. We spent $109. Stussy hoodies are usually around $90 so I think our total was fantastic! 

The Chevy Bolt EV is Great for Getting Around Town

Kids sitting in and on a Chevy Bolt.

We drove all over the county to do our shopping and had a blast in the Chevy Bolt EV! This was my first experience driving an all-electric car and it was fun! I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand how they work. I know that you need to charge the car (instead of putting gas in it) to keep it going.

But beyond that, it gets to be a little bit like a video game. If you pay attention to how you are driving the car (your speed, the air conditioner, what mode you are driving in), you can gain back and “regen” some energy. My friend laughed at me trying to explain this in my Instagram stories. 

Dashboard of the Chevy Bolt behind the steering wheel.

The green bar on the left side of the dashboard shows you how much charge you have left and how many miles you can go. Although they suggest charging it every night, the cord didn’t reach my house so I couldn’t. (Turns out if I would have just gotten a standard extension cord, I totally could have charged it at home – this is why I shouldn’t be in charge of our cars…)

I drove this car all over the county to shop at the Crossroads stores. Then we took it to dinner across the county and back. And I still had plenty of charge to get around for a while! It is so convenient and can do the same things as a normal gas car. It’s just quieter, cleaner and better for the environment. 

Charging a red Chevy Bolt.

I used an app to tell me where the charging stations were. I was nervous about charging for the first time but it couldn’t have been easier! All I had to do was swipe a key card to get it started (since Chevy had an account already established – but you could easily set up your own if you bought this car).

Then I had to click in the charging cord, in a similar fashion to filling a tank, and that was it! We went back to school shopping and the car charged away! 

Crossroads Trading bag next to Thrasher hoodie and blue Converse sneakers in the back of a Chevy Bolt.

As a Chevy driver for the last 9 years (I loved my Equinox so much but finally had to size up to the Traverse), I’ve come to really love this brand. And I realized it’s truly a family love. My dad and my father-in-law both drive Chevy trucks (my dad-in-law currently also has his eye on Corvette) and my mom drives an Equinox that she bought after we bought ours (#influencer). 

Here are some of the other features I like about the Chevy Bolt EV

  • While the storage space of the trunk might not look that spacious in the photo, what you can’t see is that the cargo floor lifts up and there is another space for storage underneath! It’s so efficient! This is also in my new Traverse and I LOVE it. It really maximizes that space.
  • The Surround Vision means there are cameras all around the car that help you to reverse and park! They’re so helpful!
  • The lane change alert lights in the side mirrors made me feel super safe.
  • The keyless open and start is so great for busy moms whose hands always seem to be full.
  • Although you can’t see it here, you can see great pictures of the infotainment console in the video above. It’s a touchscreen and the hub of everything that is going on in the car. From using it with Apple Play to checking out more details on the car’s energy, the screen is awesome! 

And the best part is, you save about $4,250 in fuel costs over 5 years as compared to the average new vehicle when you drive a Chevy Bolt EV!  

If you haven’t been to a thrift store in a while, or haven’t taken your teen, I encourage you to! There are so many fun things you can find and we had a great day spending time together and looking for deals. 

More posts you’ll love if you have a teen or tween

Pin these money-saving shopping tips for later

Boy walking up to a Crossroads Trading store with text overlay.

There you have it! I hope these money-saving tips for shopping for teen clothing will help you stretch your clothes shopping budget a little bit farther! Do you have more tips? Leave them in the comments below! 

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