August is here and for those of us with school aged children this signals back to school time. This means that it’s time to go back to school shopping for clothes. So in this piece we’ll explore six ways that you can do your children’s back to school clothing shopping without breaking the bank.
- Do a Closet Inventory. Before you can take advantage of back to school shopping deals or buy new school clothes for your children, you should already have a good idea of which clothes your children need versus what they don’t need. The best way to do this is to go through your child’s closet and see which clothes still fit and which ones don’t. Likewise, you’ll also be looking for clothes that may still fit but that got too worn during the summer or that your child no longer likes.
- Create a List and Don’t Deviate. Now that you’ve taken an inventory of your children’s closets you are in a position to make a list. When you’re doing this just remember three things:
- Get your child involved in this process so that you can minimize your returns
- Anything not on the list should be off limits
- Separate your list into two categories-needs and wants.
- Set Your Budget. Now that you’ve got your list as a guide you’re ready to set your back to school clothing shopping budget. A good rule of thumb is to focus 90% of the budget on needs and the other 10% on your child’s wants. Hint: this is also a great time to explain to your child the difference between needs and wants. Another tip is to have a backup plan, such as using a swap site in case you go over your budget.
- There’s No Need to Buy Everything at the Same Time. Resist the temptation to buy 100% of the items that you need prior to the first day of school. Instead, it’s helpful to purchase only the absolute essentials before the first day of school. This is important because the clearance sales usually don’t start until the second week of school. You can prepare yourself by being on the lookout for end of summer sales in newspapers, circulars, and other announcements. Hint: you can also use layaway as an option to lock in low prices on items that you don’t need right this instant.
- Don’t Pass Up the Opportunity to Shop for Clothes Online. You still have the option to shop online. So take advantage of it because online stores tend to have huge savings built into their prices due to their smaller overhead costs. Also, just as your brick and mortar establishments are doing summer end sales, so will your online retailers.
- Always Use Coupons-Especially During Sales. Just because you’re taking advantage of a sale, doesn’t mean that you’re done saving money. To the contrary this is actually the best time to use coupons because, in many instances, combining sales and coupons means that you’ll be able to multiply your savings.
So we’ve just seen six awesome ways to save money on back to school clothes. Of course this list is no-where near all inclusive. However, these tips represent the low hanging fruit as it relates to saving money on back to school clothes.
Which of these tips will you put to work this year? Are there any other tips that you’d like to add? Let us know. And also, don’t forget to like us on Facebook or join our mailing list so that you’ll be the first to know about our upcoming Back to School Sale!