I am not a big fan of buying new, especially if you can find it somewhere for free, or cheap. I have lots of reasons for this, one of course is just being budget conscious. also, if I reuse something, it stays out of the landfill, and my NOT buying something sends a message to producers that we need less. This is particularly true of children's clothing. Kids wear things once or twice when they are very small and then outgrow it. Honestly, how many newborn outfits do we need? I'm sure if we all looked in our closets and attics and garages, we could easily outfit the entire newborn population without making a single new item. Once kids get older, I do see how they can wear clothes out more, but still, I'd rather have my kids wear things that are already used and that I didn't spend a bundle on so that they can have fun and get dirty and I won't be stressing about ruining an outfit.
So how do you get cheap/free/used? Freecycle is one of my favorites. You join your local group on line and then you can give away, ask for, or see what others have to give that you might need. It's one big exchange that is organized in your area. It always amazes me what people will give away (we got an elliptical trainer for Honey's mom once) and what they will come to take (I have given away half used bottles of shampoo). Kid's items are very popular on these sites - I got most of my toys for Peanut from Freecycle, and lots of clothes too. I love Craigslist too. It gets a bad rap because some folks use it for unsavory activities, but I have found amazing deals on wooden toys, cloth diapers, clothes and other random things. I've also done my fair share of giving away and selling my stuff that would otherwise collect dust in the garage.
I always love consignment stores, and we have a great one here for kids items. I have bought lots of Peanut and Pumpkins stuff here and always marvel at what I can get that looks brand new for a few dollars. So, we come to the TOP. I got Peanut some jammies this spring when she was growing out of hers and always complaining and pulling at the ankles and wrists. I pretty much just bought all of the 2T stuff they had at Kid to Kid. She has absolutely fallen in love with one pajama top, and wants to wear it every day. She says "TOP?" and looks for it in the laundry bin, the dryer, and the pile of clothes to be put away if it is not in her drawer. We can't figure out what it is about this top, but she loves it! Of course, I have no way of replacing it once it is destroyed (which I am betting it will be eventually) since we got it through resale. There is a downside to buying used I guess.