If your children do not go to a school that has mandatory uniforms, shopping for school clothes should understandably become a budget buster. While the children won't necessarily have to wear new clothes every week, they would need to have some variety in their wardrobe. This is especially important to the more image conscious teenagers. But then again, even the younger children would probably also need some steady choices, especially when their school clothes are easily soiled and are no longer fit for wearing to school. You can provide for presentable and proper clothing without putting a dent in your finances, though.
Listed below are some great suggestions:
- Mark your calendar for season clearance sales. Clearance sales always offer plenty of deals, with some clothes going at 70% off. Never mind if the clothes aren't in season. What you can do is to store them first and take them out only when the kids already need to use them. Fashion isn't really a priority, but practicality is. School clothes are pretty basic anyway, and the kids don't have to wear something straight out of a fashion runaway. Clearance sales usually happen when the season ends. Shorts and sandals, and lighter clothes are usually cheaper in August. Buy these ahead of time so that the children will have something nice and new to wear come Spring the following year. Sweaters, jackets and other winter clothes are more affordable by the end of February. Buy them early, when they are priced a lot cheaper, as jackets are usually more expensive in season. When September rolls in, the children would have something very appropriate to wear to school.
- Peruse thrift shops, flea markets and garage sales. Second hand clothes are still presentable, if you just know where to find them. There are usually good choices of jeans, skirts and shorts at the flea market or the thrift stores. If you are lucky, you may even score that branded jeans your teenager has been raving about. Clothes from these markets are totally marked down, with some even going for $1-$2 only. That’s quite a steal! You must thoroughly wash and clean whatever you buy from these places first in order to be safe about it. Soak the clothes in baking soda and water overnight to get rid of that “thrift store” smell. Garage sales and flea markets normally roll around and take place during Summer. So plan ahead and save the dates, if you know when and where a sale is going to happen. Check listings at the newspapers or your local community.
- Go old school: sew clothes. If you have a knack for sewing, then you can probably save on money by buying several yards of fabric and then sewing this into neat clothes your children can wear to school. This may be even better as your children will definitely wear clothes that no one else have, setting their individual style.
- Don’t say no to hand me downs. Ask relatives or friends if they are willing to part with the clothes that their kids have already grown out of. Or better yet, organize a clothes swap among your closest friends. This is not only very practical, but it is also a fun activity to do with your peers.
- Shop online. Finally, you can check for great deals on clothes at sites like Ebay or Craigslist. Some offer vintage second hand finds, while others sell brand new clothes for a cheaper price at wholesale. You should have plenty of options in an online marketplace.