6 ways to save money on back-to-school shopping

With a new school year and cooler weather around the corner, you might be starting to think about buying seasonal clothes for the family. If your shopping list is longer than anticipated, it doesn’t mean you can’t come in under budget. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you save money on your back-to-school shopping trip.

1. Visit a consignment store

Children can grow out of clothes quickly, but you can save money by finding more affordable options at consignment stores. Many consignment stores sell gently-used clothing that is still in great condition, and is a fraction of the cost of brand new clothes. On top of the unbeatable price, a lot of consignment stores carry stylish, name brand clothing. You can often find anything from jackets, pants, backpacks, shoes and even accessories at your local consignment store.

Tip: If your kids grew out of their clothes from last year, you can sell those to the consignment store and use any money you receive as a credit towards your purchase.

2. Find online discount codes

Online shopping is a great way to beat the crowds at the mall, and you can usually find discount codes to help you save money. We suggest downloading an app like Honey – Honey automatically finds you the best coupon code while checking out online.

3. Invest in high-quality staple pieces

Sometimes you have to spend more to save more. Lower quality items, while less expensive, might only last one season, which can cost more money in the long run. Fall or winter jackets are something your child will wear a lot over the season, so it might be worth paying a bit more for these items. Otherwise, you could end up having to buy your child multiple jackets just to make it through one season.

If you’re going to make an investment in something like a jacket, try to find one that’s multipurpose. A lot of jackets have multiple layers, so they can work for both fall and winter.

4. School uniforms – shop used or swap with friends and family

School uniforms can be expensive. Luckily most schools organize used clothing sales. Some students only wear uniform pieces for one school year, so you can often find lots of clothing in good condition. You can also see if any nieces, nephews or family friends have leftover school uniforms they’re willing to pass down.

5. Consider the cost of hemming and alterations in your budget

The cost of alterations can add up quickly. If a pair of pants requires hemming, you need to add this into the overall cost of the pants and include it in your budget.

Tip: Some stores offer to hem pants as a free courtesy – try to find stores that offer this, but make sure you weigh it against their clothing prices.

6. Know your fabrics and how to take care of them

Beware of fast fashion stores. While they offer an affordable alternative, the clothes are often made from fabrics that can fall apart easily. Look for clothes made from natural materials like cotton as opposed to synthetic materials like polyester or nylon.

Plus, the better you take care of your clothes, the longer they’ll last . Remember to always check and follow the label for washing instructions, and be mindful when purchasing fabric or garments that require dry cleaning. Dry cleaning charges can add up quickly, so purchase these items with caution.

Lastly, only buy what you need. Just because it’s the beginning of a new school year doesn’t mean your child needs an entirely new wardrobe. Start by purchasing a few clothing items and see how much wear your child is getting out of them – you can always go back for another shopping trip after the school year has started.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy school year!