Successful family blogger, Editor and owner of the popular Stay at Home Mum blog, Jody Allen, says buying school clothes adds up and trying to save money on school uniforms and weekend wear is something you will be doing for the next 12 years. We caught up with Jody for her tips on saving money when it comes to school uniforms and weekend wear.
Start by taking an inventory of the items in your closet and drawers and write a list of the things she/he actually needs.
Stores like Kmart, Big W and Target all offer fairly affordable children’s clothing and most will have several sales throughout the year. You should be able to save anywhere from 20 percent to 60 percent on the regular retail price by shopping at the right time. What this means is shopping throughout the year and taking advantage of these sales. Furthermore, at the end of each season there may be a rack of “clearance” items that can be used for next year. Just make sure you buy in the next size up.
When your kids hit their teens they will probably rather wear nothing than be forced to wear their older sibling’s hand-me-downs. However, younger children could care less. If you have children of different genders, consider choosing items that could be unisex so that you can pass these items down.
Places like Lifeline and the Salvation Army can provide inexpensive t-shirts, jeans, jackets and even shoes. While a brand new shirt may cost around $15, you can expect to only pay $5 for this same shirt at a second hand store. Many of the clothing will be in good to excellent condition and only require a simple wash. You may even luck out and find school uniforms in the right sizes.
When hunting down school uniforms, ask at school if there is a way to get in contact with other parents selling uniforms that are too small for their children. Or, you may be able to get a hold of these items by checking Facebook Buy, Sell and Swap pages in your area.
Another great way to get some new clothes is to host a clothing swap with some friends. You can swap last year’s clothes for a new wardrobe without paying a cent. This works best when you have friends with children that are different ages. Or, if your children are a little older, you can let them do the clothing swap. This is especially clever with girls who will love the idea of ‘shopping’ in one another’s wardrobe.
These are just some of the ways you can save when shopping for back to school clothes. Your children will probably want to have a say in what you buy for them, especially if they are a little older. Let them choose one or two new items to add to the wardrobe and focus on choosing sale items, basics and second hand goodies for the rest.