The best deals I've ever found for brand new kids' clothing items were on the clearance rack. I absolutely love the thrill of seeing that rack with all of its red-tag glory, and finding adorable clothes in the right sizes. Inevitably, the clothes are last seasons' leftovers, so in September, I'm likely to find swim suits and shorts on sale. Come March, it'll be snowsuits.
If you keep an eye out, you can shop strategically and always stay ahead of the game, while saving a ton of money in the process.
The first thing you can do to really make the most of your money is take an inventory at the end of each season of what your children have that you think will still fit that time next year. For example, take out all of the sweaters that barely fit or are already too small and put them in the "old" clothes pile (for donation, siblings, hand me downs, etc.). Keep the sweaters that still have plenty of room and that should probably fit next fall/winter and put them in a box clearly marked so there's less chance of forgetting about it in a years' time. Do the same with spring/summer clothes when the weather starts to get cooler.
Based on your inventory, decide what your children will most likely need next year to supplement what they already have. If they grew out of everything, you know you'll have to start from scratch. If they still have ten sweaters that seem large enough for next year, you know you'll need to focus on pants or jackets (or nothing at all if they are still stocked on all of that season's must-haves).
With your list in hand, make a trip to a few of your favorite stores (in person or online) as they're just starting to introdeuce next season's stock. That is the perfect time to find amazing deals on last season's stock on the sale racks. Buy what each child needs when you find a deal that you just can't pass up, and make sure you sort your finds and put them in the proper boxes! I am notorious for finding great deals on things my kids won't need until next year, and losing them before next year rolls around.
What are your favorite sale rack strategies?