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So soon? Back to school savings

Summers fly by, and before you know it, school buses are winding through the neighborhoods and it’s time to send the kids back to school.  Usually parents don’t realize how much kids grow over the summer, and then when school hits, so does the need for new back to school clothes. Unfortunately, this can often be a pricey expense, and though we need to clothe our children, it’s nicer when we can do it without breaking the bank. Follow these tips for making your back to school clothes shopping less pricey and more enjoyable.
Watch sales Obvious, but don’t forget to watch for sales, even if they’re happening before the start of school.  Maybe it’s a Fourth of July sale, or mid summer madness – if you see something your kids could use, pick it up when it’s not full price, even if they won’t be wearing it for a few more months.  Speaking of sales, when you go in a store, make the sales rack your first (even only) stop. You usually can find some great deals there.
Use coupons and rewards A lot of stores use reward systems and customer loyalty coupons. Hold onto coupons for your favorite stores and don’t shop without them. It also never hurts to ask in the store if they have any specials, sales or coupons. Often, they’ll dig something up for you to use, and you may save 10 to 40%.
Hand me downs and special finds Whether your child gets hand me downs from their big sibling or the kid down the street, use them. Maybe some things are out of style or not your kid’s favorite, but hold onto the basics such as jeans, shorts and shirts. When you see something in the stores that she just falls in love with, you’ll have money in your budget for it.
Shop off-season Don’t be afraid to buy something out of season. Stock up for the future seasons. It’s always fun to pull something out that you’ve forgotten about!
Wait until after school starts Stores know you’re going to shop before school, so that’s when they feature full prices.  If you can wait a bit, things will go on sale. With some school systems around the country moving towards earlier start dates, your child doesn’t really need a new wardrobe to start school in, she can just wear what she’s worn all summer, or at least from the end of last year. Make do until new clothes go on sale.
Back to school shopping can be fun or a challenge and added stressor. Let your kids know clothes are not the end all and maybe one special new outfit will be all they need. Check your kids’ closets, sales and ensure you are getting new things at the best deals.
About the Author: Heather Legg is a writer who covers topics relating to small business, frugal family living and diapers.


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