Six ways to save on back-to-school clothes shopping
Home economics: Buying your child new clothes for a new school year can be costly. | FILE PHOTO
The back to school season can be bittersweet. Parents miss having their youngsters around the house when summer officially ends, but it’s also fun for parents to watch kids partake in all that school has to offer.
One of the things few parents look forward to come the end of summer vacation is back-to-school shopping. Such shopping can be costly, especially when it’s time to outfit kids with new wardrobes. While a complete wardrobe overhaul might not be necessary, kids typically need to replace a few items they’ve outgrown since the start of summer break. There are several ways parents can save on back-to-school clothes.
1. Get a head start. Parents can save themselves some money by shopping early for their children’s back-to-school wardrobes. Though kids may experience a growth spurt during the summer, shop for items, like socks, that they aren’t likely to grow out of before the back-to-school season begins. This affords you time to comparison shop and spread out the cost of replacing your child’s wardrobe instead of being hit with one big bill all at once.
2. Establish a budget. Without a budget, it’s easy for parents to overspend on back-to-school clothing, especially for those parents who wait until the last minute and simply buy the first things they see. Establish a budget, ideally several weeks before your child’s first day of school. Having a budget in place reduces the likelihood that you will overspend, and developing the budget early helps you spread out your spending.
3. Shop at consignment stores. Consignment stores offer name-brand clothing at discounted prices, something parents of ever-growing youngsters can appreciate. Kids will like the name-brand gear, while mom and dad will enjoy not having to pay name-brand prices. A consignment store with significant inventory might sell anything from blue jeans and T-shirts to sneakers, shoes and jackets.
4. Swap clothes with other families. Clothing swaps between families have grown increasingly popular as more and more parents look to save money on rising clothing costs for their kids. Typically, families will swap clothes, including jackets, if their kids are similar in age and one youngster has outgrown his or her clothes. If you can’t find a family to swap with, visit your local community center or church to see if it has a clothing swap program.
5. Shop discount stores. If the local consignment store has already been raided, consider a discount store. These stores typically sell items at heavily discounted prices and often have similar inventories to mall department stores.
6. Shop online. A relatively new way for parents to save on back to school clothing is to shop online. A popular store’s Web site might offer discounts that their brick-and-mortar store does not. Parents can also scour a host of coupon websites to find special codes they can use at checkout. These codes might offer free shipping or a percentage off the bill when consumers spend a certain amount of money.
Metro Creative Connection