Back To School Shopping

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Back to School shopping is my weakness.

I go into all these stores and see the perfectly coordinated outfits, with the cute backpacks and lunch bags. I immediately think my son needs that. I start to rationalize, but he would look so cute in that. The logical part of me knows he doesn’t need sneakers that match his backpack that match his baseball hat, but it is sooo cute.

Last school year, I didn’t win the battle with my irrational desire to match my son from head to toe.  It lasted for about 6 weeks into the school year.  It was then I rememeber that my son comes home with dirt, paint and what I believe to be food on his clothes.

So this year, I am putting myself on a budget, a strict budget. This budget is the money I made from selling my son’s clothes at a yard sale I had.

Here are some good tips that I am going to follow this year while I am back to school shopping. Hopefully they will help you too!

1. Take stock of what you have at home. – Make a list of what you already have so that you don’t buy new items when you have it in the closet. Try everything on. I always give my son some incentive to spend the afternoon trying on his clothes!  Take the list with you when your shopping.

2. Mix old and new – Once you have stock of what you have, buy clothes to match.  My son has 2 pairs of pants that he rarely wore. I realized later that it was because nothing matched those pants. I am going to put those pants in a bag and take the store to find matching shirts.  Spiffing up what you already have with new item is a great way to get extended use out of your kid’s clothing.

3. Don’t be afraid to shop yard sales, online auctions and thrift shops–  You can shop at yardsales and thrift shops for great used clothing.  For younger children, you can often find barely worn clothes because of how quickly children outgrow their clothing. If you have a teenager, try shops like Plato’s Closet. Don’t forget to utilize online sites like Craiglists, Ebay and Kijiji.

4.  Buy cheap basics – If your kids must have some designer pieces, save money by buying basics such as jeans and polos at place like Target and Old Navy. Spend the money on shirts or sweaters that will pull together an almost designer look.

5. Buy your supplies at the drugstore -Sounds silly, but honestly CVS and Rite Aid have awesome deals on supplies, sometimes even FREE!

6. Don’t over do it – Let’s face it, kids don’t need 20 outfits to start school. Spend half of your budget before school starts and save the other half for a few weeks into school. This way you can get a feel for what your child really would need.

What are your best tips for back to school shopping?


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