Gearing up for a new school year? Don't get sticker shock when shopping for school clothes!
The cost of clothing the children for a new school year can be staggering. Even clothing in good repair may no longer fit a growing youngster after the summer holiday. If you've got a budding fashionista on your hands, your child's list of must-have items can swell out of all reality.
How to send them back to school in style ... and on budget? Try these ten ideas for saving money on school clothes.
Make a Wardrobe Check
What do the children need for school? Get in the know before you go!
Take an hour and check children's closets before heading to the mall. Consider whether items fit, what condition they're in, and whether they coordinate well with the rest of the wardrobe.
Use our School Clothing Checklist to identify what each child needs to be ready for the first day of school.
As you go, remove outgrown and worn out clothing from drawers and closets. You'll make room for new purchases--and make school-day mornings easier--when you cut the clutter.
Stick To Your List
Impulse purchases can be real budget-killers. Sticking to your list while shopping makes sure your budget goes toward items that are truly needed.
Better, a written list helps focus family decision-making when shopping for school clothes. No matter how your little one pleads, if it's not on the clothing checklist, it's not in the shopping cart.
Build On the Basics
Inexpensive basics like T-shirts are a great way to build wardrobe variety at a low cost--and because these items tend to be trendy, their relatively short life-span is a bonus.
Buy a reasonable selection now, then replenish stocks of T-shirts, socks and tights throughout the year, to keep kids' wardrobes fresh.
Buy Good, Once
By contrast, big-ticket items such as winter coats can be expensive to replace mid-winter if they don't hold up. Paying a bit more for quality pays off over the course of the year.
Better still, purchase coats and outerwear from retailers with generous return policies, such as LL Bean. If a zipper breaks or a seam rips, you'll be able to replace the garment.