How to Save Money on Back-to-School Clothes

Every year parents deal with the challenge of buying back-to-school clothes. Stores are crowded, items are expensive, and you know your kids will probably outgrow everything before the clothes wear out. But there are things you can do to minimize the cost and avoid the crowds.

1. Set a budget. As with anything else, the first step to limiting how much you spend is to set a budget and actually stick to it.

• Consider how much you’ll need to spend up front as well as what will be required for purchases during the school year. Stretch that budget as far as possible by only buying what you really need and by shopping when the sales occur.

2. Assess your current situation. What does your child currently have? What fits? What can be reused for the new school year? Figure out what you’re actually going to need, make a list, and keep it with you.

• When anything on your list goes on sale, you’ll be in the position to take advantage of the situation.

3. Consider hand-me-downs. Do you have older children whose clothes would be appropriate for your younger child? What about the children of your friends, neighbors, and co-workers?

• Many people just throw perfectly good clothes in the trash. You may be pleasantly surprised at what others may offer you, and usually everything is free!

4. In the spring, buy winter clothes for the next school year. Winter styles are amazingly inexpensive in March. So buy ahead.

• Of course, the same situation applies when buying clothes for the rest of the year. Out-of-season clothes are much less expensive. The stores want all that merchandise out of their way.
• Remember to consider your child’s growth.

5. Consider buying used clothes. Your kids might not be thrilled if they knew, but thrift stores and consignment shops have many pieces of clothing in excellent condition. Some are designer items that cost a ton of money new.

• Much of the apparel has only been worn a couple of times, and it’s not unheard of to find stuff that’s never been worn. Your kids will never know, but your bank account will be able to tell the difference.

6. Trade in the old clothes. Many stores like Once Upon a Child and Plato’s Closet specialize in used clothing. Not only can you get some money for those clothes your child can no longer wears, you might also find a great price on something they’ll love!
• Also consider selling last year’s clothes at a garage sale or on eBay. Your child’s old clothes may have value to someone, especially if they’re in good condition.

7. Check to see if your state has a back-to-school tax holiday. Some states have a couple of weeks or weekends before school starts when they temporarily eliminate sales tax.

• The amount you save can be considerable, so check if your state has this tax break before you plan your shopping trips.

If you utilize the above money saving tips, you can save a lot of money on back-to-school clothes! Follow at least a couple of the suggestions in this article and you’ll be well on your way to having a happy, well-dressed child and keeping more of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Talk to Your Child about Starting School

Children and schoolChildren often regret going back to school after a long and wonderful Summer break. Sometimes this can be really hard for them. It is important to talk about all of the things that are important about school and the positive things that the new school year will bring. Arrange and organize the child’s things for the next school year and keep school as part of the Summer as well.

Before school starts back – start mentioning the new start up. Let your child prepare and get ready for the next steps. Let them warm up to the idea that their schedule will again change drastically. Explain the importance of rest for school.

Acknowledge a child’s emotions about returning to school. It is important to validate what they share. If they say they don’t like school and really don’t want to go back – you can say that you understand that they don’t like school and feel they don’t want to go back. Ask why – what is bothering them – what is on their mind. Get them to talk about their fears and concerns. Then you can help them overcome them.

They may be scared of distance from a parent, or a new and unknown place. Explain how proud you are of them and make a big deal of their effort to try to adapt.
Help them learn how to stay in control if they are worried about teasing. If another child has teased them – teach them to remain calm and seek help if they feel they need it. Children can be mean at times – explain that the other children are learning about behavior as well.

Listen to what your child is saying – pay attention – give eye contact – repeat back what they have said. Be interested and concerned. Be positive and comfortable talking about everything. Keep the lined of communication flowing!

Moving from school to school can also cause stress for a child. Learning the ropes and gaining new friends all over again can be so stressful. Find activities that they are good at to make sure they bolster their self esteem.