According to the headlines the average baby will get through 56 outfits as a baby.
I have not counted how many mine got through but this seems excessive (an odd thought for someone who sells baby clothes you may think, but first and foremost I am a mum, and a mum whose partner lost their job 2 months before I gave birth).
I have to admit that I had bagful of clothes as working at a big fashion company I was able to buy all the samples at cost, as well as many of my friends being in fashion doing the same. But as my son grew older we had to buy items ourselves. We concentrated on buy quality basics (which does not always mean expensive) with the odd thing to splash out on. We (well I) was organised enough to buy next years coat in the sales at a fraction of buying in the autumn. I also brought a lot of items from eBay. We did get through a lot of bandana bibs, in fact I often say we set up a bib making workshop just to keep up with my son. Muslin squares were a cost, especially when my son had refux. I liked colourful muslin squares as white ones went grey very quickly. We only ever had two baby hats (one for summer and one for winter).
The most important thing to check after quality is fit. My son was very long so buying clothes was difficult because as a 4 year old he fits 8 year old tops but they are so baggy on him.
Lego has become a big thing in our house, but that has been very cheap, my partner has finally got his old Lego back...