4 ways to save on back-to-school shopping

November 3, 2015

Sending kids to school can be an expensive venture, but buying new clothes for the school year doesn't have to break the bank.  Check out the four smart strategies below.

4 ways to save on back-to-school shopping

1. Out with the old, in with the new

Save money on buying new clothing by selling old clothing first. Go through your children's closets during the summer to determine what items don't fit them anymore. Sell this clothing at a garage sale, consignment store, or online. Once you've made money by selling old clothes, you'll have extra cash to buy the latest fashions.

2. Shop thrift or vintage

Thrift and vintage stores offer used or gently used clothing for children. Research the stores in your area that sell second hand clothing and pay them a visit before you visit regular clothing stores. Many stores offer a large selection of clothing in great condition. Make a list of the items your child needs before you go, then mark them off as you find them at thrift stores. Buy the items that remain at regular stores. Be sure to wash clothing you get at second hand stores before you let your child wear it.

3. Stick to a budget

Create a budget for back-to-school clothing purchases based on the list of the items your child needs. As you shop, keep track of what you buy and how much you spend. By following a budget, you'll ensure that you don't spend too much overall or on one item. When you notice that you've almost spent all the money in your budget, choose cheaper brand items as alternatives or look for items that are on sale.

4. Check with friends

All kids grow at different rates. Check with the parents of your children's friends and ask if they have clothing that their children don't wear anymore. In many cases, the parents would have placed the clothing in the trash and will appreciate the opportunity to pass the items on to another child. You can also swap clothing if your child has clothing that will fit his or her friends. Swapping clothing with friends usually ensures that kids get styles they like and that the clothing will be in good shape.

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