Shopping for back to school clothes can be expensive. Even those with healthy bank accounts should be on the lookout for ways to save during this yearly shopping excursion. Below are nineteen ways to save on your back to school shopping for students of all ages.
1. Shop Online
Many stores have online-only sales around the beginning of the school year. If you already know your sizes, you can pick up clothing for a fraction of the cost you’d find at the store. Be on the lookout for stores that offer free shipping to save even more.
2. Wait a Weekend
While it is tempting to shop during the back to school rush, you can find some savings by waiting a weekend. Some clothing will be reduced in price after the big sale, usually by another ten to twenty-five percent. Patience is often the key to getting a good deal.
3. Tax Free Sales
Many states have tax-free weekends before the school year begins. While the savings aren’t spectacular, the eight to ten percent discounts do add up. As a bonus, you can also pick up cheaper school supplies during these sales.
4. Hand Me Down
There’s a fine line between used clothing and vintage, so check out the closets of older siblings and family members who are close in age. Putting your own stamp on gently-used clothing is a great way to save money.
5. Consignment Shopping
Consignment stores often have name-brand clothing available at lower prices than most stores. While you can’t guarantee that a consignment shop has your size, you may find a spectacular deal. These stores are especially useful for older teens and college students who are looking for vintage fashion.
6. Close to Perfect
If you want to save on back to school clothes, avoid name brands. There are many off-brand clothes that are of similar quality and design to bigger brands but don’t carry the added cost of a fancy label. If you’re in the market for clothing, try to go off the beaten path.
7. Quality, Not Quantity
It’s often better to have a few good pieces than a closet full of clothing that will be easily damaged. Instead of buying an entirely new wardrobe, try to buy a few things that will last you through the year. This will save you money in the long run.
Accessories are a cheap alternative to new clothing, but they can help you to make many outfits out of a few pieces. Choose a few good accessories to add variety to your look without breaking the bank.
9. Go Timeless
Avoid anything that’s trendy. These items will not only go out of fashion before the school year ends, but they will also cost more. Stick to items that are timeless and that you could see wearing next year.
10. Shop Bigger
If you are shopping for younger children, try to buy clothing that’s a size bigger than necessary for the following season. This will allow you to avoid having to shop in a rush when your child starts his or her next growth spurt.
11. Think Bulk
There are certain items that are simply easier and cheaper to buy in bulk. Pick up bulk packs of socks and boys underwear to save money and to have enough supplies on hand when they’re needed.
Try to buy clothing off season when you can. This is harder if you are shopping for small children, but a great idea for college students. Buy winter clothes in spring and summer clothing in the fall for massive discounts.
13. Close-Out Matters
If a store has stopped carrying an item, it will generally put the remainder of their stock on clearance. Sort through close-out items when you can to find great deals.
14. Reward Card Savings
Many stores now have reward cards that will allow you to save a bit on future purchases. Signing up is usually free, and many stores now give new rewards members one-time use coupons just for joining.
15. Cash Back Rewards
If you have a credit card, check to see if you have cash-back rewards. You may be able to pay for some of your back to school clothes using the money that you have already earned. Check with your credit card issuer to see if they offer cash-back deals for shopping at specific stores – your back to school shopping might earn you money.
16. Clip Those Coupons
While clothing-specific coupons are rare, some stores do offer generic percentage-off coupons that you can use for back to school shopping. Some of these coupons are available online, but the majority must be found in newspaper circulars.
17. Uniform Envy
If your school has a uniform policy, check with uniform stores to see if you can buy the clothing in bulk. Buying five or six uniforms at once may allow you to save a few dollars on each piece you buy. Check with stores that sell scrubs and medical clothing for the best deals.
18. Basic Budgeting
One of the best ways to save money on school clothing is to stick to your budget. While this doesn’t make any individual piece of clothing cheaper, it does allow you to stay within your means. Decide what you can realistically afford and stick to that amount.
19. Reuse and Recycle
Don’t be afraid to reuse the clothing you used last year. A pair of jeans that are now too small might be converted to shorts, while an old shirt can be tie-dyed and given a new life. If you can reuse your old clothes, your savings on back to school clothes will multiply.
52-Week Money Challenge
Take this 52-Week Money Challenge to help you save money on the important things in your life with ease. You can download the printable below!