I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

1 May 2013

How to Shop for School Clothes on a Budget

Every mom wants to put her kids in a fresh, fun outfit for the start of the school year, but kids’ clothes can be expensive. Is it possible to get those trendy tops and cute shoes without spending hundreds of dollars? It is if you know how to hunt down some deals and stick to a budget.

Know Your Limit
The most important thing to know before you head out on your shopping adventure is your spending limit. If you don’t truly know what your budget is, it is easy to go over it and then panic later because you spent too much. Once your daughter sees that cute skirt, she won’t want to return it. So, take a little extra time to figure out what your budget can handle. Whether you can spend $100 or $500, having that figured out beforehand is a step in the right direction.

Avoid Name Brands When Possible
Yes, name brands are cool and your kids want them because everyone else wears them. Still, they’re significantly more expensive than off-brand options. Here’s the kicker: They are not that different from all the other clothes out there that don’t have an expensive label slapped on them. Paying close attention to the cuts and fabrics that are trendy will allow you to pick up discount knock-offs at a fraction of the price.

Splurge a Little Where It Counts a Lot
Okay, it goes a little against the no-name-brands rule, but when it comes to jeans, there is a standard to follow. It’s okay to splurge when you know it will be worth it in the long run, just make sure it actually will be worth it. Spending $100 on a pair of shoes that are uncomfortable and probably won’t be worn often is not worth your time or money, but neither is buying a half-dozen pairs at $20 because they’re not durable or made to last. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of more expensive items, and balance your remaining budget accordingly.

Thrifty is Not a Swear Word
Thrift stores are among the only shops you can go to that have designer and brand name labels for a reasonable price. Most consignment stores are also fairly picky about the clothes they put on their racks, so you are guaranteed to find a good quality outfit for a price that won’t drain your bank account. Don’t avoid thrift stores because of some perceived stigma with shopping second-hand. There’s nothing wrong with shopping on a budget, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with finding great deals.

Sales and Clearances
Keep your ears and eyes on full alert for sales and clearances. There are some stores that constantly run sales, and if you have enough patience, the item you want to buy will eventually be discounted. This can save you a lot of money if you hold out long enough. Signing up for in-store email lists may come close to clogging your inbox, but it will also keep you abreast of any big clearances on the horizon. Don’t be afraid to purchase next year’s clothing in a size up, either. Unlike the Fashion Week runways, this year’s clothing won’t be an embarrassment next year on the playground.

Scope It Out Online
The Internet is a magical place, it seems. All of your favorite stores are at your fingertips. If you don’t enjoy shopping in malls or crowded department stores, sit in the comfort of your own home while finding those outfits for the kids and take all the time you need to scour for the best deals. Find what you want to buy, compare prices and determine which store has it at the best price. Most sale ads are posted on the store websites, so even finding those sales can be a snap. Keep those sales in mind when searching for the best price. One place might have the outfit for $10 cheaper, but another store might have it at a 20% discount when you purchase that pair of shoes your son needs for gym class. Keep shipping costs in mind, too. You may be able to afford a few full-price items during free shipping promotions, which many retail sites run on a fairly regular basis.

Shopping for school clothes doesn’t have to sink you into debt. Your kids can wear trendy and unique outfits on a budget, as long as you’re willing to work at finding them.  Get organized, find the deals, go shopping and remember to have a little fun while you’re at it!

Syndicated, with consent, from http://www.summernanny.com/blog/how-to-shop-for-school-clothes-on-a-budget/

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