Share Crafts

I Can't Afford School Clothes


I am a single father with 2 kids, a boy 15 and a girl 14. They will be starting school this next mouth and I do not have the money to buy them school clothes. Do you know of anything I could do. God bless.

By Jonatan from from Fayette, MO


Best AnswersAnswer this Question

These answers have been rated the best for this question.

By Harriet (Guest Post) 08/01/2008 Flag

If there is a food pantry that you know of or are affiliated with, they might know of a place that has clothing at no cost. I know of two pantries in my vicinity that does this. It's yours to take.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Joan 13 1,479 07/24/2010 Flag

My daughter uses the KMart layaway quite often. A lot of the Salvation Army Thrift Stores give out vouchers for free clothing. Where I live there are some churches that have clothing give aways every now and then.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Frances Adams 11 554 07/25/2010 Flag

I see that you have already gotten several great replies. I agree with the answer to ask at local churches, even if you don't attend. Several of the churches in our area help out children during school time, and many of the residents donate money, clothes, school supplies to them, even if we don't attend those churches. Don't feel ashamed. Times are bad now for many more people than ever before! God Bless you and your kids, and may things improve for you soon!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By mr_vanhorn 1 07/25/2010 Flag

Check for a Freecycle group in your area ( Also, try second-hand stores (Once Upon a Child, Plato's Closet), Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and garage sales (many garage sales are listed in local news papers, local news papers' web sites, or even Craig's List).

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By PENNY K 14 564 07/25/2010 Flag

Call your local Adult and Family Services, or whatever it's called in your state and they will know all resources in your area. Since you have the web, also check your local newspaper if on line; they usually run an article on resources for kids clothes and school supplies right before school starts. Better yet, call the living section of your local biggest newspaper, and ask if they are running such an article, and ask to talk to person writing it and ask them for good resources. Best of luck. Been there.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Sis 11 24 07/25/2010 Flag

Check out craigslist. I am a single mom myself, so i know the feeling! Good luck!

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Martha Prince 1 09/10/2010 Flag

I understand exactly how you feel because I raised 4 kids as a single parent. I remember one year not having enough money to buy them Christmas gifts but somehow we made it. What I learned to do was do my shopping at Thrift stores. You will be amazed at what you can find there. I still buy my clothes there. But I would caution you on one thing, be prepared to become addicted to thrift stores. Once you realize what you can find there for so little you will never want to go anywhere else.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Recent AnswersAnswer this Question

By Robyn Fed 394 1,240 07/24/2010 Flag


Look up United Way in your area and find out if they have a clothes closet or anything of that sort.

Also check and give offer something on this site, and then request whatever sizes they need and you will get emails about who has them to offer.

Also people offer clothes on here all the time.

Everything is free, and you choose a place to meet at to do the exchange...pick a place close to you, wherever you live. I love and have gotten lots of great things from them also.

Also I hear that Kmart has layaway,but I have never used it before.



ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By jill 9 45 07/24/2010 Flag

Check with your local food bank, one of ours has a clothing bank and you can go get clothing once a month. Another offers financial help for cases like yours. Check with local churches, some collect clothing and offer it free to those in need. Finally, Freecycle on Yahoo is a wonderful place to request items you need. Good luck and God bless.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By rose 2 14 07/24/2010 Flag

If you attend a church, please speak to the pastor and ask for recommendations. Go to your local CAA ( community action agency) also, some churches have clothing giveaways. There are usually local agencies like places called, the Pathfinders. Look in phone book.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By EVY 22 07/25/2010 Flag

When my son was growing up I only had my paycheck for everything. I went to thrift shops, discount stores, second hand shops, No-one ever knew not even my son, I would come home wash & dry the clothing Press them and fold, just like from the store. Fooled him for years. Now kids think a second hand shop are neat, Give them a few Dollars & let them shop. You will be surprised in what they find.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Joan 13 1,479 07/25/2010 Flag

My young adult grandaughters say Plato's Closet is way too expensive for their budget.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Phillep 4 07/25/2010 Flag

The girl might be a little old for it, but see if you can get her started making/fixing clothes. A good quality used machine with just straight stitch is better than those things at WalMart.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Jennifer 1 07/29/2010 Flag

I buy almost all clothes for myself,my husband and our 5 children at Goodwill. If go on Tuesdays, they have a tag sale. So anything that color tag is only $1.49, no matter what the tag says. The y have signs advertising which color it applies to in the store. Take your kids with and go hunting for treasures. There's lots of good name brand stuuff and for that price, it's pretty reasonable. Also get hooked up on your local freecycle. I've picked up bags of clothes for my kids from freecycle. I agree with previous posters too, call churches and your local community service group. Good luck. I know how tough it can be .

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Judy = Oklahoma 60 750 07/29/2010 Flag

You got some good ideas on here,so I just wanted to say one thing since you may not have experience with 2nd hand stores. Don't be afraid that your kids will be embarrased or teased, because you can get some really great clothes at these stores, you'd be surprised at how stylish some of them are & you can even find things that are brand new with the tags (most recently I found a designer blouse at Goodwill with the $50 tag still on it for $4.99!). The best thing to do would be to take the kids when you have plenty of time to shop & let them go through the racks themselves Look in your phonebook under 'Thrift Store", if you have several in town, hit all of them,that way you'll get a good variety & have a better chance of finding the "good stuff". If your kids don't tell anyone, nobody will know-my kid's get complimented all the time & when people ask where they got something, they just say they don't remember or their mom got it for them.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Caseye 34 205 07/30/2010 Flag

In my town we have a "store" (all donated items) where people can work a few hours each week to earn vouchers to buy furniture, clothing, books, etc. It's a really neat arrangement for those who don't feel comfortable accepting hand-outs", but need the help and want to do what they can to earn items. Please ask around in your town to see if you have such an organization. Good luck, and God bless.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Louise B. 6 2,509 07/30/2010 Flag

I just wanted to add that dressing in vintage or used clothing is nothing to be ashamed of. Many people do it; people who can easily afford to buy more expensive things.

I was a teacher (now retired) and I used to buy men's sports jackets to wear to work, as I found the women's things were not as comfy and lacked pockets for pens, keys, kids notes, and so on. I always bought these second hand, especially when I was wearing "men's small", the stores were full of outgrown jackets in this size!

Celebrities have been known to shop second hand or vintage. I saw a picture of Victoria Beckam wearing a sweat shirt from our University here in Saskatchewan. She wouldn't have bought that anyplace in New York except at a second hand store!

My sons sometimes preferred clothing from Value Village or other thrift shops as used t-shirts were always soft and they could get interesting slogans for odd events or defunct businesses that no one else would have.

I never felt that buying second hand or at thrift stores was something that I had to keep a secret.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By gem 154 262 07/30/2010 Flag

Social services may be able to help you out as well. I personally brought our 5 kids up on thrift shop clothes. We never had many clothes growing up but there are so many more now.
Many blessings and best wishes. (And God bless you for bringing up 2 children on your own.)
G Maphis

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By christine lauderback 6 28 08/13/2010 Flag

How about a paper route,cleaning job, doing errands, yard work, babysitting. They will be more adjusted when they leave home if they start earning their money now.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


Here are questions related to I Can't Afford School Clothes.

Question: Back to School Clothes

I am a mother of a 16 year daughter. She is in need of new school clothes. We live on an income of $585 per month for the three of us. This includes my husband, also. He is unable to work because he has prostate cancer and I am unable to work due to seizures plus heart problems. She wears a size 16 in women's jeans and extra-large in shirts. We barely can pay our bills.

Please does anyone have any advise? I am open to suggestions. Thank you for your time. I am sorry to ask this, but how can I afford school clothes if I do not have enough money to pay my electric and phone bill which I am late on.

Yours truly.

By lyonsoldtown

AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No

Best Answers

By meloney 109 07/18/2011 Flag

May I suggest that you get yourself to the nearest Department of Children and Families. Sounds to me like you may be entitled to financial help with several things including food stamps and perhaps even some emergency cash. Medicaid also comes to mind that will help with hospital, doctors, as well as any prescriptions needed.

Depending on where you live, and the safety, your 16 year old daughter might could find a part-time job that will help her with clothing. At her age, and depending on the hours she'd be working, safety is the main factor in my opinion. Her safety getting to and coming home from work.

If you have family, you might consider appealing to them for a little help with clothing for your daughter. I wish you the best, and I don't think you're going to be all by yourselves in this situation. Many people are facing the exact same state in the very near future unless things change quickly.


ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Sally Pifer 7 45 07/20/2011 Flag

You are probably eligible for some help on your utility bills. I know that where I live, people can get help through Catholic Charities. You can probably call your utility company for direction on this. Also, do you belong to a church congregation? If so, please talk to your minister about your needs; he should be able to give you some help and direction. And definitely contact the Salvation Army; they are all about helping people when they are in need.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Marty 7 60 07/20/2011 Flag

Most schools have a clothing bank, a lot of churches do also. Check to see if your area has a Community Action Program (CAP) They can give you names and addresses of places that can help with utilities, food and clothing.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

By Marsha S. 1 08/01/2011 Flag

Have you ever heard of you can post a ad on that sight that u r looking for clothes and can't afford them and what sizes for the area you live in. I have seen people post in my area not sure if they got a response, but it's worth a try, If you have smaller sizes you could say that you have smaller sizes to give towards them. Or you could sell them on there too if in good shape. But like any free ad sites watch out for spam and any weird feedbacks that don't look right. You can sell anything on that sight. Good Luck! We have used it and sold our truck and had no problem. It's kinda like using the newspaper ads.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: I Can't Afford School Clothes

I was looking for information in trying to find a place to help with getting kids school clothes, nothing fancy. In march My Husband lost his job, we had to move to a different place, However school is approaching by July 27th and we have no extra money to get the clothes the kids need.

Answer This Question