Back to school clothes shopping with kids

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5 easy ways to keep clothing costs down for back to school

Back to school is finally in full swing, and everyone is excited to get all of their shopping accomplished. Last week, I gave some tips on how to thrift for back to school. This week, I wanted to share a few ways to accomplish back to school clothes shopping with kids, on a budget, when looking for new clothing.

5 ways to keep costs down when back-to-school shopping

Make a list
This may seem like a given, but parents tend to forget that making a list can keep costs way down and help you zero in on what is really needed for the upcoming school year. While you’re at it, make a list of summer items in your kids’ wardrobe that are in good condition, and can be transitioned into the fall. If these items can be used for the next few months, that will significantly cut down on your budget.

5 easy ways to keep costs down when back-to-school shopping

Shop for the next 4 months only
I see so many parents get overwhelmed with shopping for back to school because they are trying to buy as much as possible to last the whole year. This is a big mistake. Kids will outgrow the clothing that we buy for them; it’s a given. If you focus on the first half of school, you’ll save money. Plus, by December, you’ll see lots of sales on kids’ clothing again. You will also see deep discounts on summer and fall items, which can be purchased for spring.

5 easy ways to keep costs down for back-to-school shopping

Stick to staples and colors
Parents know exactly how staple pieces can extend the life of any wardrobe. This rings true for kids as well. Focus on dark jeans, sturdy shoes and sneakers, and shirts with solid colors. You can throw in a pattern or two to fit the personality of your kiddo (my son has a camo obsession), but stick with the basics whenever possible. Also, stay away from white clothing. White clothing and kids never mix.

5 easy ways to keep costs down on back-to-school clothes shopping

Stockpile, stockpile, stockpile
When I took my son to The Children’s Place to stock up on t-shirts and shorts, we lucked out and encountered a $5 tee sale. I used this time to teach him about stockpiling clothing and the best way to get a great deal with a small amount of money. He had a $25 gift card he received for his birthday (and $10 from Mom) so we worked on getting his set up with just that amount. Because we took advantage of that sale, he’s now stocked up on tees for the fall, and to wear under his sweatshirts and sweaters in the winter.

5 ways to keep costs down on back to school clothes

Pass that list onto your kids
This may seem like a bad idea, but give your kids that list you created. Let them do the shopping. This will not only help them to create an independence when it comes to their wardrobe, but they will learn how to keep within a budget and look for great deals to stretch a buck. The younger they are, the more you will have to “guide” them while they shop, but this is a great way to encourage them to shop for themselves and stick with the amount of money that is allotted to them.

I hope these tips help you shop smartly this back-to-school season. If you have any extra tips, please feel free to share with us in the comments below. Happy shopping!

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 8.8.13

    Great tips. We did a little here and there and I think did well…it’s so hot here, we haven’t even thought of jeans yet.

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      We’re still dealing with heat here too, but now is the time to think about a jean stock up. They are giving all the sales now, and will charge us an arm and a leg once the weather gets cooler.

  2. 8.8.13
    LaQuita said:

    The list part is something I tend to forget, which is definitely always needed. I always say okay 5 outfits, shoes and gym shoes, but somehow go over. These tips are awesome and I’ll definitely be bookmarking and coming back before we head out for school shopping next week.

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      That’s great LaQuita! The list is magic, even if you add to it while at the store, you never go completely overboard since you can literally see all the items needed. Without that list, it’s easy to go hundreds of dollars over budget.

  3. 8.8.13
    Brett said:

    great tips. i always buy UP a little bit in size especially for tops to accomodate growth spurts. i also shop clearance when the new seasons’ clothes come out to maximize my money

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      We buy up as well, Brett. If there is a REALLY great deal on a piece of clothing, I’ll get it in 2 sizes: my son’s current size and one size up. I love to shop clearance too, but I wait until a month after the new clothes are put on in the stores to check the section. Usually clearance items put on “clearance” right after the clothing change are still at a retail price. Give them time to really mark everything down, then attack! 😀

  4. 8.8.13

    You are so right about not buying for the whole year. I would only buy very little clothes before school began because by Columbus Day there are usually giant sale.

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      Yes! The Columbus Day sales have been lacking her the past few years, but I do wait until the great holiday sales to re-stock my son’s closet. By then, I’ve increased our clothing budget and can spend a little more as well.

  5. 8.12.13

    WE get a few pieces to start the school year and then a few more as the year goes on. My kids laways tend to have too many clothes and only wear the same few things anyway.

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      I hear ya, Debi. My son has his favorites, and t-shirts are one of those favorites, which is why we stocked up on them while they were cheap. He also loves pullovers, so he layers the tees with pullovers in the winter. I like to stock up on the pullovers at The Children’s Place and Old Navy once they go on sale around the holiday season.

  6. 8.12.13
    Amanda said:

    I couldn’t agree with stockpiling more! They have great back-to-school sales and I use it to save on things when I need them later in the year.

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      That’s great, Amanda! I hope you all have a great back-to-school start 😀

  7. 8.12.13

    Very helpful tips…thank you.

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      You’re welcome, Leanette :).

  8. 8.12.13
    Brandi said:

    Awesome tips, Amiyrah! I especially love the part about stockpiling!

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      Thanks Brandi! Stockpiling isn’t just for food :D.

  9. 8.13.13
    Kristyn said:

    these are all great tips for back to school shopping!

    • 8.13.13
      Amiyrah said:

      Thanks so much, Kristyn! I’m glad you enjoyed the post :).

  10. 8.14.13

    I like the idea of only shopping for the next four months. It’s totally practical and makes the entire ordeal less overwhelming.

    • 8.14.13
      Amiyrah said:

      It really does, Alicia. We have way too much stress already, so cutting down the list is a great way to reduce it :).