A few days ago, we published a post about how to afford designer kids’ clothes and where to shop for them. However, if you’re not interested in buying designer clothes for your kids, below is a great 7 step system to get a good deal on any kids clothing purchase.
I know that buying school clothes on a budget can be tricky. Clothes generally cost more than school supplies, and kids grow constantly. Each year, I need to buy new shoes and jeans for my son at minimum.
After a busy and often expensive summer, I don’t have a ton of room left in the budget to splurge on school clothes, but I still make it work.
Here are some of the ways I like to save money on kids’ back to school clothes.
Step 1: Take Inventory
It’s possible that you don’t have to start completely from scratch with your child’s wardrobe. Take inventory of the clothes you already have that can still be worn during the upcoming school year.
My son tends to have a ton of shirts that still fit so he can continue to wear them throughout the year. Make a list of the clothing items you have and want to keep. Then, donate or sell the items you need to get rid of.
From there, you’ll know what you have to work with. Instead of buying entirely new outfits, you can piece together outfits with new things you buy and items you already have.
Step 2: Set a Budget and Plan Your Shopping Trip
One of the best ways to make sure you don’t overspend is to set a budget before you go shopping. Make a list of what you need to buy and come up with a reasonable budget for it.
Setting a budget may seem restrictive at first, but you can make it a fun challenge.
It feels great when I find deals and am able to save money and stay within my budget. Working with a budget will help you get creative instead of just buying the first thing you see.
You also want to consider limiting your shopping trip to a specific day or time frame. If you only spend 2-3 hours shopping on one Saturday, you’re likely to spend less than you would if you broke your shopping up and stopped by 5 stores in a 5-day period.
Step 3: Avoid Name Brands
Some parents feel the need to buy the most expensive name brand clothes for their kids to go back to school with for some reason. Buying everything name brand is a definite way to spend a ton of money on school clothes.
At the end of the day, your kids may not even notice or care about the brand of their clothes and are more interested in how they look in general.
I’ve found quality clothes that look great and weren’t name brand. Nobody knew the difference, and I saved a ton.
If your kids do have a favorite brand or you really like the quality of a particular shoe brand for example, make it a one-time thing or use some of my tips below to cut the costs.
Step 4: Shop Used
I love buying used clothes for my child because it’s cost effective. Kids go through clothes so quickly whether they outgrow them or outwear them.
That’s why I actually like to visit thrift stores like Goodwill before I head to the regular stores in search of clothes. I often run into great finds at Goodwill, and the one in my area was hosting a back-to-school sale where clothing was $25% off. I found a pair of Levis for my son and two t-shirts for under $10 which was a great deal.
You can also check out yard sales and the Facebook marketplace to find quality used clothes.
Step 5: Check Out Coupon Sites and Blogs
If you prefer to do the bulk of your shopping online, don’t forget to check out coupon sites to see what type of deals you can get. This could be a great way to avoid all the traffic as well seeing as most popular retailers have an online store.
Most stores will already be offering some type of deal for in-store shoppers, but you can likely use a coupon code to keep saving online as well.
For example, Old Navy has some great digital coupons for their clothing now. It’s important to keep your eyes out and shop strategically.
Step 6: Earn Cashback
Another way I like to save money on kids’ back to school clothes is to get a rebate for the items I purchase. If there’s no rebate available when you buy the item, you can create your own if you have a cash back credit card.
Now, I’m all for using credit cards wisely. If you’re going to use one for back to school shopping, make sure you’re able to pay the bill off in full when it comes.
A great benefit of using a rewards credit card is that you can earn points or cash back for your shopping whether online or in the store.
When it’s time to redeem your cashback, you can deposit it back into your checking account just as you would with a product rebate.
Step 7: Combine Strategies For Better Results
If truly want to save big on back to school clothes, consider combining some of these strategies for maximum results. This is especially true if you have more than one child attending school. I like to do all of the above, and that’s why we’re always able to easily afford back to school clothes and items when the time comes.
What do you do to save money on kids’ back to school clothes?