Saving Money on School Clothes

Kids want to look good and have the trendiest clothes for school. It can be hard to satisfy their needs with clothes being so expensive. This is a guide about saving money on school clothes.


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6 found this helpful
August 4, 2011 Flag

For back to school clothes, I have an extra dresser in my home office, each drawer (or two) with a particular size. I usually "inventory" at least 2 sizes in this dresser, sometimes 3. When I come across a SUPER Clearance Sale, I purchase clothing (clothes, underwear, pajamas) for my son in larger sizes for the following year, usually for cents on the dollar.

When summer/school season arrives, I inventory the clothes and then pick up items that he may require (usually not much, if at all). This method also comes in handy when a quick gift is needed. Brand new clothes, ready to be wrapped!

I've found that I spend less money purchasing brand new, name brand clothes than if I went to GoodWill and purchased second hand. I save anywhere from 60%-90% on my son's clothes every year by utilizing this method.


By Denise from Upstate NY

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August 4, 20110 found this helpful

I have to agree with you Denise. It takes some looking but usually you can find some terrific buys at the end of the season.

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6 found this helpful
October 25, 2011 Flag

We all know shopping at thrift stores is a great way to save money on things, but I have found that I save even more if I go in late in a season to look for clothes for the next season. I found my son's fall raincoat in the end of summer for under $2, and I noticed that in the middle of fall when it was rainy and chilly, coats that were very similar were priced at about $4-$5. Not a gigantic savings by itself, but save $2-$3 on just 8 items a year and you have $24 in your pocket.

I got all the items in the picture in late summer and it only cost me about $10 for all of them. I combined shopping in summer for fall stuff and a 50% off coupon for the thrift store. I still would have only paid $20 for all of those items, when at the mall, I would have probably only been able to buy one, maybe two of them for that price.

By Shannon from Lakewood, OH

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October 26, 20110 found this helpful

I have bought winter/rain clothes in the middle of summer heat for peanuts. One stylish vinyl raincoat was on the dollar rack & I landed a London Fog trench coat for under $10. Also, in the heat, I found duckshoe boots with leather tops for $7. They all will last me for years! It doesn't rain often here in S. Calif., but when it does, it's a torrent, so we have to be prepared! Also true of winter sweaters and such.

Summer clothes, conversely, are great deals when everyone else is shivering!

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August 18, 2006 Flag

Have A Child's Clothes Swap

Get a few friends and/or church members to swap children's clothes. Children grow out of clothes so fast. You can also do clothes swaps if you are losing weight So you don't have to spend a fortune on in between fashions.

By Valerie


My daughter has three children in school and that can be so damaging to the wallet. She visited our local Goodwill Store, got 6 pair of boys jeans, 2 skirts, and 12 blouses for $100. That is some smart shopping!

By elpasolady

Buy Clothing After School Starts

Sometimes older kids get their new clothes, then they go to school and the next week they say to mom or dad "I don't like these clothes". To avoid this, don't go shopping yet, go shopping in a week or two and let them see what's out there or what the fashion is. Then take them with you and let them pick out their own things (unless its hanging off of them). You also save money because the prices on clothes go up the first week in September while they always go on a sale a week or two later.

By Tashface

Buy Clothing Your Kids Will Like

Before I went to boarding school, my mother was in a shopping mood and at the last minute, she decided not to buy most of the items as they might not have been in the style that the kids wore. She was absolute right.

Unfortunately, she never did get around to buying me much after school started. Although we went shopping, she didn't approve of the items I'd selected (back in the 1960's). End of story.

By cookwie

Craig's List, Ebay and Consignment Shops

Put ads in the free section of Craig's List. Or put wanted ads in the for sale section. Check out eBay, which costs some more.

Look through the phone book for all the consignment stores. The American Cancer Society is a good one. Look for ones in more expensive neighborhoods, and especially in resorts.

By the Oracle

Shopping Early

My daughter is becoming "Label conscience" and is only 10. We happened to visit one of her favorite stores (Limited Too) and came upon a huge clearance blowout (it was in April)- I spent about $30 and got her many outfits (I did not get anything that is too trendy) for school for this coming year, the only things we need to get now are shoes, socks and school supplies!

Also, her school bookbag is a namebrand that has a lifetime gaurantee (remember to save the receipt). I requested one for her Birthday (close to when school starts) because I was tired of buying an $8 bookbag that only lasted a few months. My family member was able to pick it up on clearance and with coupons (Sometimes department stores are worth shopping in!).

By stevesgal

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May 26, 20080 found this helpful

Don't forget that TJ Maxx and Marshalls have layaway!!! It really came in handy last year when I was shopping for my son who was going away to college. I was able to buy a little at a time throughout his senior year.

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2 found this helpful
August 8, 2008 Flag

Saving Money On School Clothes

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School will be starting soon. What are your favorite tips for saving money on school clothes, shoes or uniforms? Post them here!


1 found this helpful
August 1, 2011 Flag

We go through catalogs, ad flyers, and find the latest "styles". Then with favorite colors and sizes written down, we go to our local thrift store or goodwill. My kids love doing this, knowing they are helping mom save money, and it's fun!

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2 found this helpful
August 2, 2011 Flag

I'm a very big penny pincher; especially right now since we have only one person working full time. What I do is during the summer is go to garage sales, and discounted days at different thrift and consignment shops.

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November 29, 2007 Flag

My Mom had the perfect solution to labeling those children's articles of clothing. #1 child got one dot of nail polish on the label. The nail polish does not wash out very easily. #2 child got two dots, and so on down the line.

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June 11, 2012 Flag

I have moved to a very small town that only has a central school, butcher shop, supermarket, pub, garage, oval, hall, caravan park, police station, and small doctor's building and a river just outside it. The nearest town is 40 km away and that only has a park, corner shop, op shop, farming gear place, the court house, and hospital. It is 4 hours to Adelade.

I am moving to get away from my ex husband and the kids love it, but where am I meant to get their clothes, when the only place nearby is the op shop? Is it wrong to get clothes that other people have worn and maybe even died in? I have never shopped at an op shop, only discount shops. I don't know what to do. I don't want my kids to get picked on at school for wearing dead people's clothes, pass me downs, or stuff that is too big or went out of fashion like 2 years ago. However, I don't want them to have to wear the same thing everyday. What do I do? Please help they're starting school in two weeks.

By mc4lifes from Sydney, NSW

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June 11, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Not sure where you are but sounds like you are not in America, said with a smile. Here in America, people thrift shop like crazy. Nobody thinks a thing having second-hand clothes and shoes, etc. In fact it is a way to own designer clothes and purses and shoes at a fraction of the cost.

My favorite shoes are Eccos, which are $130 plus shoes new, but I bought my pair (not apparently worn, either) for $6 in a thrift store. I dread the day they wear out and I am serious! My kids wore second hand clothes and clothes that I made.

My daughter's Brownie Leader asked me once where I got all the cute clothes she worn and I smiled and told her "yard sales, thrift stores, etc". She was amazed and it was a testament to the fact that you can dress well with second hand clothes. Now I don't know about these "op" shops, but anyway, I would say not to worry about "dead people's clothes"...because when you wear leather shoes or clothes you are wearing something definitely dead and besides you don't know the clothes are for certain from dead people.

You have plenty of other major things to worry about being a single than to worry about them wearing 2nd hand clothes. You / they, don't have to tell a soul where they came from, anyway! I never bought anything junky, old, too big or too little, etc. One other thing, you will be teaching your kids about economy, bargain-shopping and living humbly (so to speak). By humble, I mean, all the rest of their lives they will know that they can do whatever it takes to survive and thrive!

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June 11, 20120 found this helpful

Thrift stores are great. You can also buy clothes online. My sister lives in rural Alaska (not even a gas station) and she has to get everything - including groceries - online. often has free shipping, even to rural areas.

You can also ask other parents in town where they get their kids clothes. You may find that the Op shop is the the most popular place to shop. "Fashion" is generally a lot more laid back in rural areas.

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June 11, 20120 found this helpful

Kids' clothes in charity shops are usually just ones the children have outgrown, and usually aren't too old or damaged. Do you have eBay in Australia? There are lots of clothes available to buy new or win at auction used.

A lot of parents put their children's clothes that they've outgrown up for auction hoping to earn a little cash, and you can find some good bargains. If your kids feel funny about wearing hand-me-downs you could make a game about it, having them pick clothes they like and watching the auction to see if they've won. You will want a PayPal account though to buy on eBay.

Otherwise, is there a chance some relative could buy clothes for you and send them in the post? If they know your kids' sizes and what they might like they could pick up a few outfits for you. And since you're in a new town no one would know if they wore any last year's clothes that still fit.

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June 11, 20120 found this helpful

Edit: You don't need a PayPal account on eBay if you're only buying, you can pay with a credit or debit card. If you wanted to sell though you'd want to register. The coffee hasn't kicked in yet! :-)

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June 13, 20120 found this helpful

"Dead people's clothes"...what? Do you seriously think children drop dead left and right, and their garments are taken to second-hand stores? No sarcasm intended, I'm just honestly concerned that your mind would come up with something so bizarre. It's one thing to worry about getting athlete's foot from second-hand shoes (my aunt did once), but dead people?

Anyway...if you live that far from a major city, the other people in your town no doubt wear used clothing from that shop, as well. Your kids know what's cool and what's not, so let them choose their clothes and develop their own style. :)

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