school clothes shopping

By Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA – 

In this month’s column, I am providing some tips to help you plan Back to School Shopping Savings this  school season.

Grade School Children

Start by assess ing the needs of your elementary and secondary students.  Check clothing and shoe sizes and conditions, book bags and lunchboxes, and leftover school supplies.  Doing so can help you prepare mentally for the back to school shopping season and help you create a comprehensive list of needs.   I’m sure most families assess items from previous years before deciding to replace everything, but just in case this is not your routine, this is an excellent way to minimize the cost of preparing children to return to school.  Good quality shoes, book bags, and notebooks can and should be reused.  Get your children into the habit of only buying new things when they are needed and not just because they are moving to a new grade or a new school.  Not only will this help you out now, but this will also teach them to behave similarly as young adults and college students.

Don’t Forget the Lunches

Iti s a good time to begin stocking up on nonperishable snacks and beverages to place in those lunch boxes.   Beverage sales tend to be plentiful during the warmer months, so maximize your savings by stocking up now.  In addition to stockpiling drinks, watch out for sales on chips, fruit snacks, and crackers.  Finally, pay special attention to expiration dates and organize your items by date.

Gearing up to return to school in the fall doesn’t have to be overwhelming or costly.

Start treating back to school shopping like Black Friday, plan now and strategize about how to meet your needs.  Lastly, don’t forget to comparison shop and find out if and when your state will have its tax free shopping week this year.

More Back to School Savings

Thrift shops, garage sales, and vintage stores*

They are hidden treasures for school shopping. By shopping smart, you will find out that looking chic doesn’t necessarily mean shopping expensive.

Although it’s much more of a challenge than stopping by the mall, shopping smart is a much more rewarding and unique way to go.

Items like:

  • school uniforms and jeans are great things to buy second hand. If they are in good condition, you can score some great deals on tee shirts and shoes.
  • Make sure clothing is stain free.
  • Aside from clothes and shoes, things such as backpacks, book bags, pocketbooks and jewelry are great little extras to purchase.
  • You can afford to be playful with accessories. There is no room for regret when you’ve only spent a couple of dollars.
  • On a lucky day, you may even find some items with the price tags still attached.

Another great option is to visit local neighborhood garage sales.

Be creative! A neighbor’s outgrown school clothes may be a perfect fit for you. Don’t rule out vintage stores either. Although they may seem pricier than thrift stores, they can stock some terrific fashionable finds.

Even if “thrifting” seems like a walk in the park, you probably won’t find all your necessities this way.

Keep your eyes open for sales at discount stores and factory outlets.

Whether you choose to shop in a thrift store, garage sale or trendy vintage hotspot, all it takes is a little motivation and resourcefulness, and you will be on your way to looking like the smartest kid in class!

*[Editors Note: this section is form our Teen Writer Julian Beitz see full article here]

 

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Michelle Sharrow

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA is a seasoned freelance writer specializing in personal finance. Based in Waldorf, Maryland, she holds a Masters Degree with a concentration in Finance. Michelle provides a monthly column on ways to help families maintain their finances and stick to a budget titled, Budgeting and Savings for Families.

More Family Finance:

http://extension.usu.edu/utah/htm/family-finance

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/healthy-families/family-finances

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance.shtml
Michelle Sharrow

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