Back to School Clothes Shopping can be a nightmare and very expensive! Learn our top 5 tips to help you stay within your budget and still be stress-free.
The Secrets To Surviving Back-To-School Clothes Shopping originally appeared on Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess by very own IBA member Elaine Hodges. Elaine thanks so much for sharing with us!
5 Tips for Easy Back to School Clothes Shopping
For many parents, the very mention of the words ‘shopping for school clothes’ can bring on a whopper of a headache. Purchasing new school clothes, shoes, backpacks and everything else needed to dress your child for school can be overwhelming, not to mention expensive. Even if your child is required to wear a uniform, these tips still apply while you are Back To School Clothes Shopping.
The good news is, you CAN get your kids ready and dressed to return to school without going deep into debt, while still keeping your kids happy. Just take a deep breath and keep reading to learn some of the best tricks to stay within your budget (and keep your sanity) when it comes to back to school shopping.
Shop the Closet
I have a feeling you might like this first tip the best. Yes, dig into your child’s closet first before you even think about shopping. Get everything out of that closet and start sorting. You’ll be surprised at the goodies you’ll find buried in the back of the closet. Or even stuffed into dresser drawers just waiting to be discovered. Sort through every piece of clothing, remove anything that doesn’t fit and set everything else aside.
Now you have an idea of what clothing your child already has. Get it all washed, hung, and folded. These items are the basis from which your shopping list will grow. In other words, you don’t even start thinking about shopping until you know what is already in your child’s closet.
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Set a Budget
Now that you know what clothing you have, it’s time to think about what is needed. But before you let your child get too excited about building an entirely new wardrobe, you’ll need to lay down the most important rule: you live within a budget.
Remind your child that an expensive pair of designer jeans may mean a not so fantastic pair of shoes. Some concessions need to be made. Then are choices to be made that fit within the budget. Once the money is gone, the shopping is over. Shopping within your budget is a harsh lesson, but one that needs to be learned before you go on.
Create a Shopping List
Now that your child knows what the budget is it’s time to find out how to work within the budget but still get the most out of the wardrobe. Start by laying out what is already in the closet. Set out a few outfits and see how much you can mix and match. Throw in some accessories. Move tops and bottoms around until you have a variety of basics that would benefit from some new pieces.
Get out a notebook and start jotting down what you have and don’t have. Such as what bottoms are unmatched with tops, and vice-a-versa. The idea is to get down on paper what you are shopping for before you get into the store, and are swayed by impulse buying.
I know it may be hard to do all your back to school clothes shopping online. But do whatever you can often benefit both you and your child. Shopping online for clothes can be done in comfort and slowly without pressure. Shoes can’t be tried on, and clothing sizes differ from retailer to retailer. TIP: Check the return policies on the websites, and even these items may be worth considering.
Of course, you can get backpacks, socks, underwear, and all sorts of accessories online without too much worry as to whether it will fit. If time is money, then shopping at home on your computer is pure gold. Don’t discount this method as a real bonus.
Clothes go on sale all the time, every season of the year. Watch for cold weather gear like coats, sweaters, boots, gloves, scarves, and hats when winter ends the year before. You’ll need them before you know it! Purchase clothing way ahead of time, and you’ll find significant savings on close-outs in the clothing departments. Depending on your child’s age, don’t buy too far ahead. Because you don’t want any growth spurts to ruin your plan.
A winter coat, one size bigger, bought in March for the following winter, at 75% off an already discounted price just makes sense. Be watchful and mindful of sales and seasons. Yes, school clothes can punch a big hole in your family’s budget. But, these few secrets can help you survive the shopping stress. Plus, will save your pocketbook as well as your sanity!
Do you have any back-to-school shopping secrets you would like to share?
Meet Today’s Author Elaine Hodges: