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.
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
Another advantage to buying new over used, is that the new doesn't wear out as quickly. No matter how good a used garment looks, there is bound to be some place on it that has more wear, that is un-noticable to the naked eye. I also don't have the patience to go digging in thrift stores.
Plus your son gets to wear new clothes which I think is important to kids when they start the new school year.
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.
I do the same with baby clothes to use for showers, because I hate paying full price for gifts. So I can afford to give like 10 outfits for $25. Just went to kohls and bought a bunch of clearance items for the insane price of $2.80 a piece!
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 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
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!
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.
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! :-)
"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. :)
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.
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
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!).
Also, if you have a Ross or TJ Maxx clothing store, you can get brand name for cheap..That is what my sister and I do.
My kids are not aware of name brands as of yet. I have an 8 yr old girl and 6 yr old boy. I buy a lot of their clothes at garage sales and do find many of those brands that seem so popular....not that it matters to me or the kids. It is still hot here and probably they will be wearing their Summer clothes till the end of Sept so I am not buying anything new now. I will dress them up cute tho for first day but it will probably be a garage sale outfit they haven't had on yet or something I got on sale.
I highly suggest buying backpacks at L L Bean. The quality is really good and the price is not bad either. My kids get atleast 2 years out of one of their backpacks. They have nice styles and colors/patterns to choose from and also in different sizes to fit the size of your child. You can also have it monogrammed with your child's name or initials. I am not suggesting you get an L L Bean Visa but I have one to use JUST with them as it entitles me to not only free monogramming but also free shipping. I buy online so it's very easy and their service is very fast.
omg i too almost only shop thrift stores my kids wear almost all brand names and people are always amazed! i dont lie either i tell em where i shop and try to pass the bargain on the ones i go to are 45 mins away so its not like there willl be nothing left! the better ones in a better neighborhood i live out in the counntry in an old farmhouse and buy all my antiques and home decor stuff there too have fun and treasure hunt you get so many bargains my kids love going they were raised that way!
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.
School will be starting soon. What are your favorite tips for saving money on school clothes, shoes or uniforms? Post them here!
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!
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.
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.