Back to school clothes shopping can be very expensive even if you only have one child. If your child attends a school with uniforms, then your shopping trip is fairly easy. Still, many schools do not have uniforms or strict dress codes. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that your child looks his or her best without breaking your wallet. For example, you can try shopping at thrift stores. You can also take advantage of tax free holidays, and you can set up clothing exchange clubs with your friends.
Some people think thrift stores are inherently dirty, but this is often not the case. Clothes are brought to the store by people who no longer want or need them, and they are inspected (often laundered) and displayed in the store. Kids grow quickly, and many parents find that they only wear an outfit a few times before they have outgrown it. For this reason, thrift stores are a great place to find gently used children’s clothing.
When you are looking for clothing at a thrift store, you should be prepared to dig. Many of these stores are crowded. You want to inspect each garment for stains or rips. You should also know that many thrift stores do not have changing rooms, so you will have to use your best guess or make your child try things on over his or her clothes. Once you get home, you want to wash the clothing before putting it away.
A good way to make friends at your local thrift stores is to bring in your old clothing and donate it.
Tax Free Holidays
Some cities and towns offer periodic tax free weekends or weeks. This typically occurs before school starts in July or August. Many times these tax free holidays are created specifically for parents who are buying clothing and school supplies for their children. While tax free holidays will help you save a great deal of money, you should be prepared for the crowds. It’s always best to make a list of what you need before you head out to go shopping on a tax free holiday.
Another way that you can save money on your kid’s back to school wardrobe is to create an exchange club with your friends. Anyone who has kids can participate, and it’s an easy way to find clothing. All you have to do is find some members and set a meeting date. This can be once a month, every couple of months, or once or twice a year. At each meeting, the parent who attends must bring some gently used clothing that their children have outgrown. You can set a minimum amount if you wish.
The way it works is, for example, you have a neighbor who has an 8-year-old boy, and you have a 6-year-old boy. When the 8-year-old grows out of something, it is likely that your son can then use it. This way the clothing gets used, and you and your friends have an exchange network for hand-me-downs.
These three ideas can help you save money when it comes time to shopping for your children’s back to school clothes.
I am curious, do you have any other ideas to add to the list?