Kids headed back to school, and you haven't picked up the new clothes they need yet? It's intimidating, right? Getting ready to unload hundreds of dollars at the time you can least afford it. Try out a few of our tips below to reduce your anxiety and get the outfits your children need at a reasonable price...
- Gently used clothing- Stock up on sturdy staples like jeans and sweatshirts at used clothing stores as well as yard sales. Since the items are made of heavy material, the wear and tear should be minimal at a smaller price. Some places like Once Upon a Child will buy your gently used items, or let you use them for in-store credit.
- Know when to shop- Specialty chain stores like Gymboree, The Children's Place, Kid's Gap and Old Navy all have terrific end-of-season sales. Consider going shopping a little early to score some great deals.
- Try online- You can find great deals online at Craigslist and Ebay. Often times, sellers will sell entire bags or bundles of clothes for low prices.
- Just ask- Ask your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers if they have any hand-me-downs they would be willing to donate or let you borrow. Be sure to return the favor to somebody else!
- Buy to hand me down- Have more than one child of the same sex? Buy to hand me down, and save money in the long run. Stock up on sturdy and timeless basics like blue jeans, khakis, and solid tees.
- Shop ahead- ...and out of season. If you catch a great deal on a winter coat in the middle of summer, Go for it! Just be sure to buy a size too big.
- Play clothes vs. work clothes- Avoid wasting money on wear and tear of clothing by seperating clothing into "work" and "play" clothes. Don't let your children play in work clothes, and spend less money on the quality of play clothes.
- Outlet Stores- Search for an outlet mall in your area, or stick to discount retailers like T.J. Maxx and Ross.
- Know their sizes- On occasion, you will spot super steals at different stores. Be sure you know your kid's sizes to make sure you participate in these deals. Writing them down on a slip of paper in your purse of wallet isn't a bad idea.
- Set a price limit- Before heading to the store, determine your budget. For example, refuse to spend over $10.00 on a shirt, or $15.00 on a pair of pants.
- Stock up on the basics- Solid tees, underwear and socks are best purchased at discount department chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Having a good base of basics will allow your kids to mix to match and get more unique outfits out of the same total number of pieces.