It's back to school time again. Here are some tips and advice for saving money on school clothes.
Before school starts we take inventory on what clothes are needed before we even go shopping. Because we bought various shirts during the summer at garage sales and such for our son and his jeans all still (miraculously) fit him and are in good shape, we discovered that all he needed was a pair of shorts, some socks, underwear and new shoes for his ever-growing feet. I find that doing the same for school supplies (I keep a stockpile), lunch boxes and backpacks also helps us to save money.
My husband, mother and I all sew. So before school starts we collect materials and make my daughter various items we know she can wear and we don't care if they get dirty, torn or stained. We make biker shorts for under her dresses. Regular slip on shorts for the early fall and later summer days and we make skirts or dresses that can be mixed and matched.
I also take her old jeans and jackets add fabric paint and beadazzle the pockets, sides and bottoms to change the look from the previous year. You can add lace, buttons, patches and jewels to just about anything. I am fortunate to have another friend that has a girl my daughters size and we trade items from year to year so the girls wear something new and different (to them.) I also have a younger sister that is tiny and single so she gives us all her upbeat fashion clothes and I just take up the hem or tack the tops so they are age appropriate for my girl. Money saved. Fashion enhanced and good to go.
You can also put an ad in your local Craigslist, Pennysaver or other circulating paper/website and ask for clothes or offer a trade. Moms groups are great for finding deals too. =)
I frequent thrift and consignment stores to keep an ever surveying eye on what comes in. Our proof that this works is my husband goes to work wearing carhart jeans and shirts, Levi's and other brand names for pants and shirts. Our son wears clothing in great shape and even brand names that we could never afford on our budget! Sometimes, as with yard sales, if you check in the more expensive places to live you may be amazed at what you find. I also shop for new clothing off season and find great deals, sometimes even cheapear than thrift or consignment prices!
We also take inventory before school starts and get them sized up. I even tell the kids wear something you can slip right into at the store over your clothes you are wearing! I hate waiting for dressing rooms! If we are a yard sale I know they can slip them on and off, so my daughter wears her swimsuit and my son his shorts and it all works out!
But we do thrift stores and yard sales, we don't have many consignment shops in my part of Maine. but we do have some thrift stores, a couple that are not too high in price, otherwise we are always at a good yard sales.
My children wore uniforms to school when they were small. Dark Blue/white shirt, khaki pants. You know the drill. Unless it was a skirt, I brought all the clothes in the boys department. It was 2-5 dollars cheaper. Nobody could tell the difference. Saved me a lot of money and headaches.
By Georgetta Ruth
Checking out thrift stores and yard sales is great advice! Even though this is going to be my son's first year at school (kindergarten), he's attended preschool part-time since he was a baby. Here are a few things I've always done to be frugal when it comes to his clothing:
I hope some of these tips will help somebody else as much as they've helped me through the recent years! Good luck on a frugal start to the school year!
I love this one as I have always bought all these types of things on a year round basis rather than just when needed. I watch the sales! I buy when when items are on sale as opposed to just buying when needed. I also put $5.00 per week on the side to save for unexpected items.
i really love the t-shirt surgery ideas! There are many out there!here's the first one I came to : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC96UwfSdWY
& in the related videos are more!
One of my favorite DIY sites is THREADBANGER!
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