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How to find inexpensive maternity clothes

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Big belly, small budget

If you're on a budget, you might just go into early labor when you look at the price tags in boutique maternity clothing stores. Who can afford that swag, especially for a piece you'll only wear for a few months?

Instead of blowing your hard-earned cash on full-price maternity clothes, load up your closet with these inexpensive maternity clothing ideas.

1. Rent it, babe

Why buy when you can rent? MineforNine is an online store that rents out high-end maternity clothing for short periods of time. If you have to go to a wedding or graduation, or have a really important presentation at work, it makes a lot of sense to just rent the perfect maternity outfit instead of buying it.

2. Sew your own

You'd be surprised by how simple it is to sew maternity clothing staples — like a ruched T-shirt, tunic dress or stretchy pencil skirt. With the right materials, homemade maternity clothes can save you a bundle. Try your hand at sewing by checking out All Free Sewing for super cute maternity patterns.

3. Take a chance on Craigslist

Ah, Craigslist. The land of frightening propositions and (a few) amazingly good deals. Peruse Craigslist, and you'll likely find a new mom who is desperate to unload boxes of maternity clothes, sometimes for a flat rate. For instance, I bought an entire two boxes of maternity clothes on Craigslist for $75. They were in great shape, since they'd only been worn for a couple months — and I was pretty much set for pregnancy.

4. Keep your clothes on

Figure out how to transition your own pieces into your pregnancy wardrobe — either by using extenders like the Bellaband, or making slight tweaks to turn your items into maternity clothes. With this approach, you may not even have to buy maternity clothing until well into your second trimester.

5. Check out high-end resale

These aren't your mama's thrift shops. High-end resale shops, like the the Saver's family of thrift stores, carry really nice clothing at a great price. Items are gently used, so you can buy with confidence that you'll be looking good.

6. Trade and borrow

Hey, there's no shame in borrowing from a friend or trading back and forth. You don't even need to limit your requests to pregnant friends or new moms. Instead, scour your bestie's shelves for normal clothing that can double as maternity clothing, to give your wardrobe a fun boost of energy when you're sick of the same outfits.

7. Use your coupon savvy

Several popular retailers — like Kohl's, JC Penney and Target — carry maternity clothing. Unfortunately, these items can prove budget-breaking without a little coupon savvy. When you find out you're pregnant, sign up for promotions at each store to receive valuable coupons in the mail, and use them on maternity clothing discounts. You can also check out Target's coupon database, since the site often carries coupons for maternity clothes.

8. Scour online clearances

Old Navy is well-known for its online maternity clothing clearances. Sure, it's a little risky because you can't try the items on — but a $6 maternity T-shirt? It's worth taking a chance.

Budgeting tip: Don't go nuts buying cute stuff the second you find out you're pregnant — instead, wait to see how your belly grows, and buy as you go.

This post was sponsored by Savers.

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