Budget Friendly Back to School Clothes Shopping

10 Budget Friendly Back to School Dress Shopping Hacks

If you thought school supplies were expensive, consider that most kids enjoy also having a new wardrobe for the new school year as well. When it comes time to go ‘back to school’ shopping, you know that your wallet usually takes a hit.

When it comes to clothes shopping, you can still get some super great deals and steals. However, before you step foot into a store, or try any of the 10 budget friendly hacks, consider doing these things first:

  • Take inventory
    See what clothes and shoes can be saved for the new year and write down your kids’ must haves.
  • Make updates
    If there are clothes your kid isn’t wearing, perhaps they just need a fresh update. Consider adding a fashionable patch to a pair of jeans or a cool new iron-on decal.
  • Sell the old to buy the new
    Any clothing items that are gently used or ‘like new’ can probably be sold in a garage sale or online with eBay, Facebook Market or Craigslist.
  • Try a clothing swap
    If you are lucky, you might be able to find someone interested in a clothing swap if you have kids of similar age.
  • Donate
    Regardless, it is best to get rid of any and all clothes your kid no longer wears, even if that means just donating them. Make space for the new gear.
  • Decide on your budget

Perhaps the most important point to make after taking inventory is to decide on a budget and stick very close to it. Clothes shopping can be very exciting for your kids, but make sure you have a limit or it will get out of hand.

For budget friendly, back to school clothes shopping, these are the top hacks. Keep in mind, using these hacks means you will likely be clothes shopping several different times, but it will all be worth it in the end.

  1. Aim for 40% in savings
    Ideally, you should never pay full price for any clothing item. For best results, shoot to only buy items that are at a minimum 40% off. Some places do artificially inflate their prices, so aim at more than 60% off at those retailers (Kohl’s and JcPenney are prime examples).
  2. Buy Used – There’s no shame in your thrift store shopping game. Buying used can be great for your budget. Not only might your local thrift store score you some big deals, but don’t forget about garage sales either. Just be sure to check the clothes over before making a final purchase.
  3. Tuesdays & Fridays (best sales) – It pays big to know the markdown schedule of your favorite retailer. Typically, new sales are announced on Friday to catch that weekend traffic. Big clearance drops happen on Tuesdays when the foot traffic is light. Those are the best days to scour for new deals.
  4. Coupons – Coupons are a great tool to use when back to school shopping, especially for clothes. Try to get comfortable with stacking coupons, both online and in the stores. It might seem intimidating at first, so try online to see what the retailer will allow. They will usually expressly allow multiple coupons per order.
  5. Use discounted gift cards – Believe it or not, you can save even more money by using a discounted gift card. And, it’s easier than you think. Just check out the site raise.com to learn more and get saving.
  6. Get cash back – Earning cash back while spending is a surefire way to stay on budget. Using cash-back portals like Ebates and MyPoints will help you earn cash for the purchases you were already going to make. Whoever invented these program is definitely a genius, just like the people who use them!
  7. Never pay for shipping – Spending money for shipping is just a complete waste. Try to avoid it when possible. It is best to try to spend the minimum purchase required to earn free shipping, or in some cases, you can choose ‘ship to store’ to avoid paying a shipping fee.
  8. Do the extras – Giving up your phone number or email address can earn you extra savings and coupon codes. Go ahead and sign up for newsletters, text message discounts and even apps to grab every last discount you can snag.
  9. Use loyalty schemes – This is one reason why you may need to make several trips to the stores to buy back to school clothes. The loyalty programs are worth it. From Kohl’s Cash to Macy’s Money and Old Navy Super Cash, these rewards are worth a second (or third, or fourth) trip.
  10. Price matching – Believe it or not, some stores still offer price matching. It might be hard to keep up with, but it can be worth it to scope out the stores who have this guarantee. It can be competitive and only save on your budget in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Everyone wants to save money and it’s not rocket science to stick to a budget. You can use these budget friendly back to school clothes shopping hacks to make both your kids and your wallet happy. It might take a few adventures to the stores, some app usage and planning, but you can save big!