The 2017-18 school year is less than a month away, and we know it can be a crazy time for families as well as their budgets. There are so many different expenses that will come up this school year, so here are a few great ways to save money on back-to-school clothes.
Prepare yourself and your budget
First things first, assess the clothes your children already have. Can one child fit into another’s hand-me-downs? Are there shirts, socks, pants or shoes that have seen better days and should be thrown out or donated? Sort clothes into three piles: keep, toss and donate/sell.
Next up, set priorities for your shopping trip. Decide on the number of outfits you are buying per child before you leave the house; three shirts, one pair of jeans and one pair of shoes, etc. Bringing your child along? Outline a clear set of guidelines for your child by giving them a checklist so they know exactly what their limit is.
If your child wants to spend more than the guidelines you provided (see above), give them some control over the budget by allowing them to earn spending money by doing chores around the house. For example, assign a money value to specific tasks: $2 for dusting, $5 for cleaning the bathroom, $3 for loading the dishwasher, etc.
Be smart about your shopping trip. If you know you are going to Kohl’s, scour the newspaper and internet for coupons. If you have a few favorite stores, sign up for sale alerts and memberships and reap the benefits.
Cramming in back-to-school shopping in one day can be exhausting and stressful. Instead, plan multiple shopping trips on different days. If you have several children, take each child on their own trip and get some one-on-one time with them as well. Or if you need to bring all kids at once, plan to shop for shirts on one day, pants on another and go to the shoe store on a different day.
Where to buy
Second hand stores don’t always have a lot of organization, but you can find some name-brand clothes for a lot less money. Turn a trip to your local thrift store or Goodwill into a treasure hunt to keep your kids occupied while you sort through the mountains of clothes.
Chances are, many parents in the area are also looking in their closets and trying to sell things. Look at sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for great deals on locally sold clothes. If you want to make some extra cash for your own back-to-school shopping, you can easily post your own inventory. Enlist the help of your child while teaching them a little lesson in economics by involving them in the process. Let them pick out clothes to sell and return the profits back to them.
Do you have friends with children around the same ages, give or take a couple years? Hold a clothing swap party for everyone to bring in clothes that are too small or that their children don’t wear. This is a great chance for your kids to have a play date and you to spend time with friends, all while swapping cloths and saving money.
Don’t forget about online shopping either! While there are some clothes you will want your child to try on, you could get some of your shopping done online and avoid the lines. Sign up for sale alerts from stores that you love and purchase items when they go on sale. Save even more money by shopping from the online clearance section.
What to buy
There are simple ways to organize your child’s closet and your purchases to save you money. If your child has a favorite color, try to coordinate all their clothes around it by only buying clothes in coordinating colors. This will provide you more outfit options down the road.
While shoes that light up or have wheels in them are very exciting, they are also more expensive. Find shoes that are easily washable and sturdy. Canvas shoes are nice because they can be thrown in the laundry after a muddy field trip, while boots are adaptable and can be worn in fall, winter and spring.
This year, before you start to dread back-to-school shopping, try to take a breath and remember that this is an exciting time for your family. It is a great opportunity for quality time with your children with a few life lessons about money saving along the way. Happy shopping!
Fall Consignment Sales
October 7-8, 2017
Tots 2 Teens Fall/Winter Consignment Sale
October 13-15, 2017
Restyle Fox Cities
Lucky Dogz Banquet Hall, 157 S Green Bay Road, Neenah
August 24-26 and September 6-9, 2017
Millbrook on Main
182 Main St Menasha, Wisconsin
Gently Used Kid’s Stuff
Goodwill – Darboy
N189 Stoney Brook Road, Appleton, Wisconsin
Goodwill – Grand Chute
4759 Michaels Drive, Appleton, Wisconsin
Goodwill – Menasha
1800 Appleton Road, Menasha, Wisconsin
Goodwill – Neenah
907 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah, Wisconsin
Nice As New
1731 N Casaloma Dr, Appleton, Wisconsin
Once Upon a Child
313 Mall Drive, Appleton, Wisconsin
Prospera Credit Union has 5 Locations in Appleton, Darboy, Neenah, Menasha and Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
4830 N. Ballard Rd., Appleton, Wisconsin
4830 N. Ballard Rd., Appleton, Wisconsin
N9660 County Rd. N, Appleton, Wisconsin
849 Warsaw St., Menasha, Wisconsin
934 S. Green Bay Rd., Neenah, Wisconsin
90 Wisconsin St., Oshkosh, Wisconsin
This article has been sponsored by: Prospera Credit Union financial service representatives.