How to Avoid Overspending on Back to School Clothes

On average, parents spend $500 per child on school clothes every year - if you have more than one child (or even just one!), that amount can easily double or triple at the start of the school year. While kids may need some school clothes, it’s not necessary to overspend on back to school clothes, shoes, and accessories.

Here’s how to determine what you do and do not need at the start of this school year.

  1. See what still works: chances are you bought an item or two this summer. Can some of those clothes make it through the fall months
  2. Layers: short sleeve dresses can be layered with longer t-shirts when the weather turns cooler, and tights can be added underneath shorts for a trendy and practical look. T-shirts can be paired with long sleeve shirts too. Layers are your friend when it comes to stretching clothes through the fall and winter months.
  3. Uniform cleverness: if your child has to wear a uniform and specific colors throughout the year, determine whether or not you have to purchase those things from one specific retailer. You may have to buy the official uniform from your child’s school, but you can probably find clothes in the right colors are less expensive retailers or online.
  4. Recycle: Have you checked out your local thrift or second-hand stores for clothes that will work? This is an especially useful trick if your child is still growing -- most parents get rid of clothes that were barely used!
  5. Host a clothing swap: know some other parents in the area? Use a social network like Facebook to create a clothing swap group. Inviting parents to bring a bag or two of clothes in good shape to a swap event means that you can pick up some great clothes for free while also getting rid of some your child no longer uses.
  6. Sales for shoes: shoes might be the one thing you can’t really compromise on, but you can search sites like Zappos for great deals on back to school shoes. Kids probably need rain boots, one or two pairs of sneakers and one pair of dressier shoes to begin the school year - you can hold off on snow boots or other shoes until mid-fall or early winter.

We’d love to hear your tips too. What do you do to keep costs down when it comes to back to school clothes at the start of the school year? Drop us a note!