When God blessed me with three girls starting 20 years ago I had no idea how much it was going to cost to raise them, especially when it came to clothes. My sister has three boys and all they seem to need each year are a pair of jeans, a few t-shirts and maybe a couple pairs of shoes. Girls?!? Although one of mine is now in college and paying for most of her own “stuff”, I still have twin 15 year old girls who both seem to need new jeans, shirts and/or shoes every other week. While that may be a slight exaggeration, it still hurts my wallet all the same. When they were much younger I just went to Target and picked out two of everything (in different colors) that was on sale at that time. Fast-forward more than a decade and the game is no longer the same. Their individual tastes seem to change regularly and I wouldn’t dare attempt to buy anything for them by myself. However, they do allow me to come along on the shopping trips, but mainly only because they can’t drive yet and I won’t let the credit card out of my kung fu super glue grip.

Yes, these excursions can be a little painful due to all the time spent picking out, trying on, and then rejecting a majority of what they tried on (then repeat cycle 1-3 more times), but overall my girls do a really good job of finding nice looking quality clothes at a reasonable price. That price is key in our household. They know that I have limits to what I am willing to pay for what they need. Please note the word need. It may sound bad to some people but I have limited interest in what they want. However, I will always buy them what they need, just at a dollar amount that I am comfortable with. I will not pay $80 for a pair of jeans, but we have never had a problem finding a suitable subsitute for under $30 (yes, it can be done). So where are we currently most successful at finding an acceptable balance between quality, selection and price?

Kohls! (http://www.kohls.com/)

I feel extremely fortunate that this place exists and that I have several of them located within a 15 minute drive from my house. Their regular prices are typically decent, but like with other stores, if something is not on sale this week, it probably will be sometime in the next couple of weeks. You just have to be patient and try to never pay full price for anything. As for their sales, Kohl’s runs them continuously, typically changing each Sunday. As an extra bonus they also sometimes run other promotions such as 15% off all merchandise (even if it is already on sale). To know what the current promotions are just check their sale paper that you may receive in the mail or that is found in your local newspaper, or sign up for their sale alerts via email at http://www.kohls.com/upgrade/registration/sale_alert_signup.jsp.

I’m not usually an advocate of getting a store credit card, but the one exception that I have made is Kohl’s. Why? Because 12 times a year they send me coupons to get anywhere from 15-30% of my purchases (even sale items) using their credit card. That means that I will have these additional discounts most anytime a need pops up in our family. Just be sure you can pay off the balance each month. Otherwise please don’t sign up for it.

For those of you not familiar with Kohl’s, it’s not just for teenage girls and they don’t only sell clothes. My wife and I also shop there occasionally for clothes, accessories, shoes, bedding, stuff for the home, jewelry and more.

If you don’t have a Kohl’s where you live or if you prefer to shop online, no worries. They have an even better selection online and you get all of the same deals online as you can get in the store.

Kohls may not be for everybody but if you’re looking for quality and selection at an affordable price, give it a try (http://www.kohls.com/).

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