Back to School time has officially arrived and it is so easy to get carried away. Between the school supplies, backpacks, lunchboxes and new clothes, you practically need a student loan to send your child to kindergarten, but, as always, we are here to help keep your budget in check! Our house is in the midst of our annual August laundry madness and clothing sort. I have a specific system designed to purchase as little as possible.
- Take stock. The process begins with loads (ha, get it?) of laundry. Once everything is clean, I carefully sort what is still good enough for school and set aside items that are not. (These go into the drawers lovingly labeled “play” clothes which the girls wear to the park, art days and around the house as needed.)
- Size up. Also known as the Great Fashion Show: Each girl tries on her clothing, setting aside items they have outgrown over the summer.
- Pass on. Outgrown clothing is then tried on the next youngest child, just in case. I don’t save things for long (space is valuable too) but on the off chance it just fits the next girl, it gets a new home in her closet.
- Coordinate pieces. I spend some timing matching what’s left for each child into full outfits. Occasionally, we end up with shorts that no longer have a matching shirt and vice versa. That’s when shopping comes in.
- Shop carefully. Each kid is allowed to choose one completely new outfit for the 1st day of school, within a specified budget. We utilize sales, clearance and friends & family deals at our favorite stores. For the rest of their clothing, I purchase only what is needed to complete outfits—a few solid color shirts here or there and denim shorts, capris or pants as needed.
- Reserve funds. Keep in mind that when the weather cools off in just a couple months, the process will need to be repeated for Fall/Winter clothing. I always save a little of our Back to School budget for long sleeves and jeans.
More saving tips on Back to School clothing from around the network:
- Back to School Shopping by Shannon at For the Mommas
- Children’s Place freebie from Cherie at Queen of Free
- Goodwill 101 by Shannon at For the Mommas