Even though it seems like the kids just got out of school for the summer, the time to go back is fast approaching. Between supplies and new clothes, parents often spend more on back to school items than at any other time of the year. Here are a few ways to curb spending.
1. Clean out those closets before you go.
A lot of the old clothes can be sold at yard sales, consignment shops, and online marketplaces to help offset the cost of new ones.
2. Shop online before heading out to the stores.
For starters, you can earn cash back Ebates or Top Cashback. There are also great online sites like Zulily and RueLaLa where you can score great deals on designer clothes and everyday clothes! You can even shop online consignment shops like ThredUp for great deals on gently used shoes, clothing and purses. By shopping online, you’ll save on gas and you may even save your sanity by not having to take all your kids to the mall!
3. Buy the basics.
You don’t need to buy a different pair of socks to match every t-shirt. White socks will match everything. Accessories can wait as well. Most accessories will be less expensive once school starts.
4. Don’t buy it from the first store you see.
If you’re in store ABC and the top you want is $50, you might find one similar in store XYZ for $40. If you have a smartphone, apps like RedLaser and ShopSavvy can help you find the best deals on the items you love!
5. Don’t forget the thrift stores.
Thrift stores, consignment stores, eBay, and Craigslist are all great places to find new and next to new clothes. No one will know they were bought used if you don’t tell them, and a lot of times you can find clothing still with tags on it for a very low price. I mentioned ThredUp earlier, but wanted to mention it again! It’s my FAVORITE consignment store and it’s easy to shop! They have clothes for kids and adults so you can spruce up your wardrobe and tackle your back to school shopping at the same time!
6. Look for coupons.
You can often find percentage off coupons in the Sunday paper, by signing up for an email list, or by searching online (type the name of the store and then printable coupon). Certain stores will also offer you a percentage off if you apply for their credit card.
7. Start with the Clearance Racks.
When you walk into a store, go straight to the back and check out the clearance racks. It’s time consuming, but the savings are well worth it.
8. Shop year round.
Some parents wait until school has already begun to go shopping, when prices are lower. Others shop year round. If Jeans are on sale in January, then they buy jeans in January. Buying a little at a time is also much easier on the wallet (and mom’s patience!) than a big one-day spending spree.
Some parents also like to leave the credit cards at home and just bring an envelope with cash in it. Once the cash is gone, it’s gone. That way, no amount of begging and pleading and/or sulking on the part of the kids will give way to spending more than you planned. Try not to stress too much about it. It won’t be long before they’ll be adults and you’ll be wishing you could still take them school shopping!