Back-to-school shopping is a popular fall tradition. But between the books, supplies and clothes, it can get expensive! In fact, the average family spends nearly $700.00 per student! Don't stress, we've got some easy tips to help you get the most out of your school clothing budget.
- Shop at home first
Start by checking your kids' clothes to be sure they are in good shape. Those with stains or major damage should be tossed or repurposed. Then, have you kids try on outfits to be sure they still fit. Repair minor issues like missing buttons, broken zippers, or torn seams. Now you're ready to make a shopping list of what needs replacing.
- Shop Secondhand, Vintage and Thrift Stores
You can find some amazing items at great prices that are only slightly 'previously-loved'. For younger kids who are still growing, it's a cost-efficient way to get fun looks for clothes that may only be worn a few months.
- Let Your Fingers Do the Shopping
Take advantage of online coupon codes, back-to-school specials and even free shipping! Order multiple outfits and sizes so your kids can try them on at home. Then simply return the clothes you don't want. Check return policies and look for free return shipping before you hit the order button. Bonus: You save money on gas, impulse-buys and avoid crowds!
- Use Your Phone
Download mobile coupon apps to help you find discounts. Then scan the coupon at the register to maximize your savings.
- Host a Clothing Exchange
Invite your friends, neighbors and parents from your school who have kids who might be a size larger or smaller than your kids and do a clothing swap! Ask each person to bring 10 - 12 lightly-used items. Make an event of it with snacks and conversation while everyone "shops" from the stash. You get rid of clothes you don't need and score some 'new' items in exchange. Bonus: You can donate the leftover items to a local charity.
- Upcycle Clothes
Check current styles and add embellishments that bring new style to old items. Change the buttons, replace old zippers with colorful ones and replace shoelaces with fun designs. Tailor clothes so they follow trends - shorter, slimmer, fuller, etc. Buy accent pieces that can work with simple tops and bottoms to elevate the look.
- Shop Off-Season or Clearance
Hit up the clearance racks first and only buy what you need for the current or next season. Check the sales and clearances again as the seasons change to supplement your kids' wardrobes. Keep an eye out year-round. If you can find jeans, coats or other items on sale, pick them up one or two sizes larger for your kids and hold onto them for the following winter.