10 Ways to Save Money on Back-to-School Clothes Shopping Without Ever Leaving Home

According to National Retail Federation’s 2012 Back-to-School spending survey, the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend $688.62 on their children, up from $603.63 last year. It’s no wonder parents are looking for creative ways to cut corners and cut back on this year’s back-to-school budget.

If you’re looking to curb your back-to-school spending, consider these 10 ways to save money on school clothes. They don’t even require you to fight the crowds or leave the house.

Shop your closet and your family members too. Before beginning your back-to-school shopping, take inventory of what you’ve got on hand. Separate things out into what fits and what doesn’t. If your child has siblings, consider if there is anything they’ve outgrown that may work for their younger brothers or sisters. Don’t forget that older kids and teens may be able to pull from mom or dads closet as well.

Consider hand me downs. During the end of summer, everyone is weeding out their closet so they have room to store new school clothes. Don’t pass up opportunities to accept hand me downs. Many folks utilize Facebook and other social media sites to let friends know what they’re getting rid of so they get first dibs. Jump on the chance to grab items when you can.

Shop the online sales. The Internet gives parents the power to save. If you know you’re looking for a specific brand of jeans, search until you’ve found them at the best price. Many stores offer savings for both online and in store shoppers. Before checking out, be sure to search for a coupon code for the store you’re buying from. 

Host a swap shop. Get all of your friends together for a good old fashioned swap meet.  Have parents bring the clothing their children have outgrown and let them swap them out for someone else’s that may fit. Serve appetizers and wine as you all sort through the clothes guests bring.

Order through catalogs. While many stores have given up mail order catalogs, many others have not. Lands’ End, Company Kids and Garnet Hill are just a few kids clothing companies that still send catalogs for customers to browse. When the catalogs arrive, be sure to look for special values inside.

Check the newspaper inserts. The Sunday newspaper is still a good resource for finding out what’s on sale where. Be sure to pull the inserts out and browse through them before tossing the paper. Visit the store’s website or call their toll-free number to place an order for something you like.

Try eBay. While some of the clothing will be used, just as much will be brand new. Search on eBay for that hard to find top or a bigger size in the style of shoe your child had last year and loved. Often times you can find the same items as in the stores for a deeply discounted price.

Refashion what you have. Jeans that have become too short can become stylish cutoff shorts in an instant. A stained t-shirt can become new again with an added embellishment or patch. With a little creativity, you may be able to upgrade many outgrown items before tossing or giving them away.

Specify clothes for gifts. When grandparents and family members ask what the children need for birthdays, holidays or special occasions, tell them they need clothes or a gift card to get some. Most family members are happy to give such a practical gift.

Shop tax holidays. Before the summer ends, many states host a tax holiday. During this time, shoppers can purchase certain items without having to pay sales tax. If you do all of your back to school shopping during tax free weekend, the savings can really add up.

While many parents like to shop the stores and touch and feel the clothing before they buy, shopping from home can eliminate any impulse purchases and give you more control over your back-to-school spending.

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