back to school kids shopping saving tips

Back to school doesn’t mean stock up on debt

back to school kids shopping saving tips
Shopping for kids clothes shouldn’t require a loan. Here are some tips to help you save on back to school clothes shopping

This post contains affiliate links – I’ll show you a deal and if you click it, I make a few pennies to help keep this site hosted.

Back to school shopping has changed. Gone are the days when parents would curse as they purchased 2 dozen new outfits and socks. Now, instead they curse the ever-changing back to school supply lists (for me, I’m all out refusing to sharpen all 120 pencils my two kids need to bring in on day one!)

When it comes to clothes, they’re an investment with very little return. Yep, we need to buy them, but kids grow quickly and honestly they’re not heading to any interviews any time soon, and their clothes don’t exactly get them bonus points from teachers… so yep, they’re a sinking investment.

While we may still stock up on clothes for our kids for back to school, many parents are realizing that their kids always grow in October. Yep, buy all the clothes and by the time you have to force your kids out of shorts and into jeans… the clothes no longer fit.


Waste of money

Clothes can definitely be a money drain. Cute outfits may be all the rage, but when they don’t fit anymore, what happens? Maybe a few dollars on a swap site, or you pass them down. And, when you realize you never even saw your kid wear it, you think, what was I thinking?

Ribbed Double Waist Jeans – $10.39

Retail Price: $19.88
You Save: $9.49

Tips to save you money on clothing for kids

First, wish for uniforms, but if you can’t go that route, use these ideas for saving money on kids school clothes

  1. Buy one outfit that you both love, use that as the first day of school outfit
  2. Go through their closet, agree to buy 1 new shirt for each 5 they donate or you sell on a swap site.
  3. For those new shirts, only buy them on sale – and by sale it means at least 20% off.
  4. Consider looking at swap sites, other moms are in similar positions, barely worn and NWT clothes having to be pawned off
  5. Stock up for another season. Yep, spring clothes are on super clearance right now. Use them and combine with discount codes
  6. Wait until the seasons change. If back to school is in August or even September and the weather is still nice, wait until you start needing new pants before you buy them. If they’ll sit for a month or three, then have the basics and then buy more when they’re needed. It spreads out the cost.
  7. Alternatively, if you find a good deal like a BOGO, buy a pair of jeans that fit now and a second pair the next size up.

Finally, don’t be afraid to Shop Clearance

Seriously this dress is under $6 right now. That’s better than the used clothes sometimes!

Stripe Sweater Dress – $5.58

Retail Price: $26.88
You Save: $21.30
from: Gymboree, Crazy 8 & Janie and Jack

What are your hints for saving on the costs of school clothes?

Bow Print Skinny Jeans – $9.99

Retail Price: $32.95
You Save: $22.96
from: Gymboree, Crazy 8 & Janie and Jack
Gymboree Sale On Now!

Look Smart: School Savings up to 40% off + 20% off All Girls & Boys Tops at Hanna Andersson! Valid 8/17-9/6

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  1. I can’t even understand the amount of money some people spend on clothing. Do laundry more often and have your kids clothes well organized so you know EXACTLY how many pairs of pants or l/s shirts etc etc they have. Go to a consignment sale on the last day of the sale when things are 50% off (be sure to get there first thing when they open). Buy things on clearance and buy a larger size or be sure they are adjustable. You can get pants/shorts and basics at box stores for $3-5 but you can also usually get some better quality pants/leggings like Boden/HA/POP on clearance for $10. The stains come out better, the cotton is heavier, they don’t get holes as fast and they have good resale value if you take care of them. There are lots of BST groups on FB you can join if you want to get maximum dollar on your resell items but you do have to go through the process of posting them. Get your spending under control. Your daughter probably does not need 30 dresses or 20 pairs of leggings. Your son doesn’t need 20 pairs of shirts either. Pick up shoes at consignment sales or ask friends if their kids are just a bit bigger than yours. My kids don’t grow fast and so I would rather buy one pair of leggings that are good quality then have to keep going to Target and picking up new leggings because we have another hole or nasty stains that won’t come out.

  2. Join a FB group of Moms that check deals online. People will post when stuff is on clearance and which coupons you can stack or where there is free shipping. It will save you tons of time and money as long as you remember not to buy every single things someone posts. Make a list of what you really need/want and stick with it.

  3. I shopped a lot before summer, and my son JUST outgrew everything. I thought I’d have at least until October before buying new clothes! I hit up a consignment sale last week and sized up so hopefully he’ll have clothes that fit this fall and winter.

  4. Kids outgrow clothes very quickly, and any way to save money on new clothes is terrific. We bought some gently used items and mixed them with a few new pieces and things we got from friends and family. I hear you!


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