Back to school is right around the corner, and whether we have the money or not, we’ve got to shop for new school clothes that are durable, stylish (or so the kids hope they will be at least!), and affordable. The “affordable” part is the one that most parents dread, because to children, “affordable” means cheap or uncool. Back to school shopping is not fun, but it can definitely be affordable if you know a few tricks.
If you are shopping on a budget, or just trying to be stylishly savvy while remaining frugal, these tips are for you!
Make A List Of Your Must Haves
First go through your childâ€™s closet and get rid of (or repair!) everything that does not fit anymore, is broken, stained or ripped, or that they do not like to wear.
Next, determine what your child needs. Don’t attempt to go shopping without knowing what you need to buy versus what you would like to buy. And write it down instead of trying to remember it in your head! There’s nothing like walking into a store and not being able to remember your list of what you came for. If your child already has three pairs of jeans, there’s really no need to buy another pair, even if they are on sale.
Also, agree to let your child pick out a couple of items, even if you don’t necessarily like the style or color. I have found that if I let my son pick out his own clothing after being given a few different options, he is more apt to wear them without putting up a fight. The last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of money on clothing that your child refuses to wear!
Don’t forget to consider the school dress code policy as well.
Know Your Budget
Knowing how much you have to spend on clothing will help ensure that you don’t overspend. Watch for sales and good deals, but don’t forget that even sale items add up quickly. Take a calculator with you to help keep yourself on track and within budget.
Do Your Homework
Take an hour or so to browse through store websites to find out where you can find the better deals and biggest savings. You can also check out our sister site Smart Mom Deals for coupons and savings on great kid stuff every day. A little time upfront will save you dollars and a headache in the long run.
Keep your receipts as well! You may find the same items for less money and be able to either return or get the difference returned to you, depending on the store.
Second Hand Stores and Yard Sales Are Budget Friendly
Of course you won’t be buying everything second hand, but there are certain things that are perfect to buy second hand…especially for children that grow quickly out of jeans and shoes.
Another idea is to have a clothing swap with your child’s friends or your family. If you are swapping clothing, it doesn’t cost you a penny!
Keep School Clothes Separate From Play Clothes
I cannot believe how hard my son is on his jeans and shoes! A new pair of jeans seems to last him only a few months! Although he is just starting preschool this year, I have gotten into the habit of keeping his play clothes separate from his “nice” clothes. That way, when he is out rough housing with the neighborhood kids, I don’t have to worry about a hole in his new jeans or food stains down the front of his shirts.
What back to school shopping tips do you have to share?
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Country Crock via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Country Crock.