Tips for Back to School Clothes Shopping on a Budget

Shopping for back to school clothing can quickly turn into an unpleasant ordeal for any parent. No one wants to wind up engaging in a battle of wills with their children as they shop for back to school clothing, especially when sticking to a budget is more important than ever. Decide on a budget for school clothing, and use that budget to guide you in deciding the stores to which you intend to shop. Consider doing some research online regarding pricing, potential sales and discounts before you go shopping. For your sanity and that of your children, don’t try to do all of the shopping in a single day, and avoid times when you know that stores are going to be the most crowded. Shopping in a crowded store in the midst of frenzied chaos will only make you and your kids make decisions you may wind up regretting.

*Set a budget for clothing 

Rather than engage in a huge battle with your child, set a budget for their school clothing before you start shopping. Make sure that the child understands this, as long as they are old enough to choose some of their clothing. Be willing to stick to that budget and hold your ground about this. Children need to learn that they can’t expect to be able to have everything they want whenever they want it. 

*Outlet Centers

If brand name is a big issue, then going to outlet centers or outlet stores can be a great way to find the latest styles at discounted prices. If there are particular stores that a child likes, sign up to be notified of sales and additional discounts. If you are financially able to get a credit card for the store (and this is something that can ultimately help your credit rating, provided you pay the bill off on time,) you may be able to get additional discounts. If the store will allow you to use coupon discounts on sale merchandise, you may be able to get even deeper savings.

*Discount stores

There are many discount stores, including places like T J Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross Dress, Stein Mart, Target, Walmart, Tuesday Morning and warehouse stores such as BJ’s Warehouse, Costco and Sam’s Club that have great deals on clothing. Places like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Ross Dress for Less get new stock in on a regular basis, but the inventory is limited. In order to get in on deals at these stores, you need to check the store on a regular basis and be prepared to buy any great deals on the spot.

*Resale shops

Some communities have great resale shops that regularly get high quality merchandise. If your child is a fast grower and is outgrowing their clothing faster than you can replace it, checking out a resale shop might be a great alternative. You can sell back things that are no longer worn and use the one you get from the sale of that to purchase replacements. Some resale shops have frequent sales at which they use color coded tags as a way to indicate the extent to which certain merchandise is discounted. If you frequent these stores often enough, you may be able to get in on sales that offer huge discounts on trendy clothing that your kids will love.

Check out websites such as CouponCraze. This is a great place to find coupons for a variety of retailers, and it is organized so that you can find coupons that are due to expire imminently faster. Many college towns have upscale resale shops that sell high-end clothing at bargain basement prices. If you are willing and or able to buy clothing at the end of the season or during the off season, you will get rock bottom prices because stores are looking for ways to get rid of the residual stock.