Back to school is expensive for parents. There are pencils, notebooks backpacks – and clothes! It can all add up very quickly. Fortunately, you don’t have to overspend when it comes to school shopping. There are simple tricks anyone can use to save money on back to school clothes.
Back to school season is upon us. Each year, the average family spends more than $670 on all of those supplies, clothing and other items that are needed! That can really hit the budget!!!
While most of us know how to find the deals for the school supplies, what can you do to save money on back to school clothes? Simple. We’ve got some easy tips you can follow below to help you get the most out of your school clothing budget!
Also see: Saving Money on Your Back to School Supplies
SAVING MONEY ON BACK TO SCHOOL CLOTHES
1. Use discounted gift cards
One of the smartest ways to save money is shop sales. That makes sense. But, what happens when the items you need never go on sale — ever. It doesn’t mean you can’t get a deal. You just have to be creative!
My trick is to shop using discounted gift cards!! Sites such as Raise, sell gift cards for less than face value. For example, you may find a $100 Target gift card for $90. The value of the card is still $100, but you didn’t pay that much for it. You still get $100 in products but only had to pay $90.
There are countless cards available so you can find them for all the stores your kids love most! No reason to pay full price for those things they want. Ever.
2. Shop at home first
Before you head out, take a look at your child’s closet and drawers. Have them try on those clothes to see if they still fit or not. You might find that the shorts and tees will work for a while and you do not need to purchase those. However, her tennis shoes may be completely worn out, and you need to buy them.
As you do this, make a clothing list of what you need, including the sizes, so you know what to buy when you shop. There is nothing worse than picking up a pair of jeans for your child, to realize that he or she did not only not need them, but you picked up the wrong size!
It might also afford you the chance to wait to shop. If your child doesn’t need any new clothes to start the year, you might be able to wait for a month or so, which might help your budget! There is no rule that says kids have to have all new clothes to start the school year out, right? 😉
We have a helpful Back to School Clothes Shopping List that will get you organized so you don’t forget to buy a thing.
3. Shop Thrift Stores
You can sometimes find amazing items at second hand (or thrift) stores. Sometimes, kids have outgrown clothes long before they wear out. This can be a great way to find some deals on items (especially if you need something for only a few months).
4. Stay at Home
Often, you can locate online coupon codes to save on your purchase. If you are lucky enough, you may even score free shipping with either another code or by hitting a purchase minimum. It not only helps you save money but can help avoid those crowds (and even save on fuel costs).
It can also be great to order items for your kids to try on at home. Then, if they do not fit, you can return them to your local store instead of mailing them back. This way, you can get in and out of the store very quickly! I’m all about spending as little time in a store as possible (avoids tempting impulse purchases).
Just make sure you use a site, such as Ebates, for example. They will pay you CASH BACK on every single purchase you make!!
5. Put your Phone to Work
There are many great apps you can download to help you find coupons and discounts. One of my favorites is CouponSherpa. They have retail coupons which you can pull up right at checkout. The cashier will scan your phone, and you can save – without having to clip a thing before you leave!
6. Shop The Sales Tax Holiday
Many states offer a sale’s tax holiday to help reduce the burden to families. We pay nearly 9% for sales tax where I live, so that can add up to significant savings when we shop over that weekend. Find out if your state is participating by reviewing our 2019 Sales Tax Holiday Shopping Schedule.
7. Clothing Swap
Find friends who have kids who might be a size larger or smaller than your kids and do a swap! You set up a swap party with your friends and ask each person to bring no more than 10 – 12 items. Then, you all enjoy snacks and drinks, while you visit and catch up.
Take turns and “shop” from what one another brings to the party. You get rid of clothes that do not fit and can go home with some which do! Then, donate the leftover articles to a thrift store or charity.
8. Recycle Clothes
Just because you have a short-sleeved shirt doesn’t mean you can’t wear it in the winter. Add a long-sleeved tee underneath, and you’ve got something new for fall and winter! It is a simple way to extend the life on a favorite shirt.
9. Shop clearance
A simple way to save money on back to school clothes is to hit up the clearance racks!! It is still warm outside (and will be for a few more months). And, your kids will probably wear tees and shorts for a few weeks anyhow. When the jeans and shirts hit the store shelves, stores discount summer apparel – allowing you to save!
Grab a few new items to start off the school year. And then, wait for discounts and deals on the other things they might need later in the season.
10. Always shop off-season
You may not be able to do this right now, but when you shop ahead for the next season, you can save. For example, winter items go on clearance in January (which never makes any sense to me). If you can find jeans, coats or other items, pick them up one or two sizes larger for your kids and hold onto them for the following winter.
11. Keep your budget in check
Sure, your kids might want the $150 sneakers, but if your budget is $50, stick to it. They might think it is the end of the world if they don’t have the best, but you need to make sure you don’t overspend.
If your child wants something at a higher price than what you are willing to pay, you can always allow them to cover the difference. They might learn that they really don’t want that item as badly as they thought when they have to cough up the cash for it.