School bells are ringing in the distance.
Although it seems like summer just started a few weeks ago, it’s already time for parents to start budgeting and planning their family’s back to school purchases.
One major purchase that comes with going back to school is buying new clothes. Here are a few tips to save money.
1. Consignment Sale
Many large cities will have one or two different 3-day long consignment sales that run at the end of September or beginning of October. I love going to these sales because there is usually such a large variety of items and a lot of affordable pieces. You can score your children’s back to school wardrobe, and even a nice backpack for a fraction of the cost. These events are usually also great ways to score inexpensive costumes for Halloween and holiday wear for Christmas.
Also, you can sell your used kids items at this event to help offset back to school clothing costs.
2. Don’t Buy Everything Now
All of the clothing styles your kids are begging you to buy will probably go on sale in the middle of October. If you can, wait for clothing to go on sale/clearance and wait for a good store deal.
Say your clothing budget for back to school is $100 for each kid. Instead of spending all of that upfront, try splitting it up for the next few months. This way you can keep an eye out for better prices.
Don’t forget that the holiday season is a great time to ask for clothes, rather than toys, for your kids. With the amount of clothes my family buys for my daughters, I rarely need to go shopping.
3. Coupons and Clearance
Many stores will also allow you to stack coupons on top of sale or clearance items. The best stores to do this include:
- JCPenney: Usually you can find a $10 off of $25 coupon. Do a separate transaction for every $25 worth of clothing you buy.
- Target: Combine Target coupons with Cartwheel offers and sales. Right now, there is a 20% off Cartwheel for clearance clothing in my area. Keep your receipt and price match if prices go down within their price match time frame.
- Old Navy: Pair a coupon with clearance.
- Kohl’s: Pair a dollar-off coupon, with a percentage off coupon, with Kohl’s cash back days
4. Hit Up Garage Sales
I love garage sales more than thrift stores because it is easier to find clothes that are in nicer condition. Also, prices tend to be much cheaper. You just need to find the jackpot yard sale that sells your child’s size. Search Craigslist the day before to screen which garage sales will have your children’s clothing size.
5. Saving Money on Uniforms
If your child wears uniforms for school, then you already know that they can be costly. It is hard to find uniforms on clearance because they are usually special made for the school. Try getting in contact with parents of children older than you to ask them to buy their outgrown uniforms. You can also ask the school if they have any uniforms that were donated or leftover from the lost and found box available for purchase.
And if there is not a system in place, you should try to start one. Many parents would be thankful for the savings break. Perhaps the uniforms could be donated by parents and then sold at a discount to help fund a school trip or event.
New school clothes can be hard to budget for because kids can be highly influenced by their peers. Simply put, your kids are there to learn and not to win a fashion award.
How do you save money on your child’s back to school wardrobe?
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