Every year parents deal with the challenge of buying clothes for back to school. Stores are crowded, items are expensive, and you know your kids will probably outgrow everything before the clothes wear out. But there are things you can do to minimize the cost and avoid the crowds.
Set a Budget
As with anything else, the first step to limiting how much you spend is to set a budget and actually stick to it.
Consider how much you'll need to spend up front as well as what will be required for purchases during the school year. Stretch that budget as far as possible by only buying what you really need and by shopping when the sales occur.
Check Your Inventory
What does your child currently have? What fits? What can be reused for the new school year? Figure out what you're actually going to need, make a list, and keep it with you. When anything on your list goes on sale, you'll be in the position to take advantage of the situation.
Do you have older children whose clothes would be appropriate for your younger child? What about the children of your friends, neighbors, and co-workers?
Lucky for us, we have three boys and we pass down a lot of clothing. I will pay a little more for quality to ensure it lasts through the third one. We have some clothes that are around 10 years old!
Your kids might not be thrilled if they knew, but thrift stores and consignment shops have many pieces of clothing in excellent condition. Some are designer items that cost a ton of money.
Many items has only been worn a couple of times, and it's not unheard of to find stuff that's never been worn. I know I have personally donated brand new items! Your kids will never know, but your bank account will be able to tell the difference.
Buy a Season Ahead
In the spring, buy winter clothes for the next school year. Winter styles are amazingly inexpensive in March. So buy ahead.
Of course, the same situation applies when buying clothes for the rest of the year. Out-of-season clothes are much less expensive. The stores want all that merchandise out of their way.
Trade in Old Clothes
Many stores like Once Upon a Child, Plato's Closet, and the online second hand store, ThredUp, specialize in used clothing. Not only can you get some money for those clothes your child can no longer wears, you might also find a great price on something they'll love!
Also consider selling last year's clothes at a garage sale or on eBay. Your child's old clothes may have value to someone, especially if they're in good condition.
Tax Free Shopping
Check to see if your state is included in the back-to-school tax holiday schedule. Some states have a couple of weeks or weekends before school starts when they temporarily eliminate sales tax.
The amount you save can be considerable, so check if your state has this tax break before you plan your shopping trips.
If you utilize the above money saving tips, you can save a lot of money on back-to-school clothes! You can always use the savings to start thinking about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping plans too!
Find other Back to School Shopping Tips to save even more!
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