If you walk into nearly any store at this time of year, it’s hard to miss the telltale signs that kids will be back to school soon. Paper, pencils, folders and calculators seem to be everywhere, not to mention the stacks of shirts and jeans.
Did you know that August is the second-largest sales month for retailers? That’s great news for parents eager to take advantage of sales, coupons and online retailers for the best bargains as they outfit their children with the clothing and tools they’ll need for the school year.
Here’s a handy list of no-nonsense, money-saving tips to get your students—and their closets—ready for school:
- What will your children need for school? Don’t just guess; take a trip through their rooms, dressers and closets to form an inventory for each child.
- Empty drawers of any clothing your child has outgrown. Donate clothing that’s in good condition.
- Determine if you can give some pieces of clothing new life with tie-dye. Are pants too short? Turn them into shorts or capri pants.
- Develop a shopping list for each child.
- Set a budget. Remember, there is a difference between wants and needs. If you can afford it, let each child select a splurge item.
- When you are shopping, train your children to find the sale rack. Explain to them how these items, if they fit, can help stretch your budget.
- If you have more than one school-aged youngster, consider shopping with one child at a time, and make it special by stopping for lunch or dinner on the way home.
- Develop a shopping map to reduce driving time. You might be able to find all the clothing you need at one store. And, if you’re lucky, that store will offer school supplies as well.
- Don’t forget that online retailers often run sales with no shipping charges. It’s another stress-free option if your child can’t tolerate long shopping excursions.
- If your child likes certain name brands that are likely to bust your budget, check out closeout stores such as T.J. Maxx or Marshalls to reduce costs.
- Looking to stretch your budget even further? Department stores will be reducing fall inventory with great sales in October. Consider shopping for part of your back-to-school list at that time.
Above all, make the back-to-school process fun and exciting for your child. Helping your child look well-dressed and ready to learn is a great way of highlighting the importance of school.
As you’re going through closets, separate out the clothes and other items your children have outgrown or no longer need or want. Then give us a call. We’ll come and take those used items off your hands—and you’ll be benefiting veterans in the process.