I don’t know about you, but I really dread all of the back-to-school expenses. Clothes in particular can be very expensive. Here are six tips that will help you save money when it’s time to go back-to-school shopping for your children’s clothes.
1) Trade with friends – If you have friends whose children have outgrown last year’s school clothes, try to trade with them. You may not be able to trade clothes for clothes (if you don’t have the sizes they need) but you can offer to trade services for clothes – an hour of house cleaning, or a few hours of babysitting ought to do the trick. Most people are happy to pass on clothes that their children can no longer use – since kids grow so quickly they know it’s money down the drain anyway.
2) Sign up for sales – if you kids wear uniforms, make sure that you are on the mailing list for your school’s uniform suppliers. When they run a sale you can take advantage of it. If your kids don’t wear uniforms sign up with your favorite retail stores so that you can take advantage of the special discounts they offer too.
3) Shop for discounts and free shipping – Amazon.ca (and plenty of other retailers) offer kids clothes 50-70% off on a daily basis. Try doing a search online for the retailer’s current discount codes. That will usually turn up an additional ten percent off, or a free shipping offer.
4) Shop the off season – The best way to get clothing at a discount is to shop in the off season. Buy next year’s winter coats in August, and buy back to school stuff in December – January. If you aren’t sure what size your child will be in the next year, purchase the larger of the two sizes. It’s easier for your children to wear clothes that have some growing room than to squeeze into clothes that are a bit too small.
5) Check out the discount retailers – Stores like Winners carry all the awesome trends you’re kids will be begging for, but without the steep price. It takes a little extra time and effort, but will save you a bundle in money and keep the kids happy.
6) Split it up – Your kids may know exactly what they want today… but quite often after the first week or month at school there’s suddenly a new trend that they simply “have to” have. So buy some clothes now and then again in a few weeks. This also makes it easier to stay on your overall budget.