Back to School shopping doesn’t have to be a burden if you know how to find discount clothing. When done properly, you can save 50% or more on your children’s clothing budgets if you shop far in advance and know where to shop. As a mother of twin boys with no one passing any hand-me-downs, I have learned how to keep my kids in good clothes (sometimes designer) without breaking the bank! Here are some tips for making your Back to School shopping less painful on your family’s budget.
#1 Shopping a season ahead.
Sales are great, but they are not enough if you truly want to lower the budget. A shirt that costs $20 without a sale can be reduced 20% when it is on sale. However, that only takes four dollars off the total price. People like me who shop a season ahead are waiting for the clearance that is marked 75% off. Then we walk in with a coupon for an additional 20% off. Now that shirt is $4. This does not mean that you have to shop at low end clothing stores. I routinely walk into stores like Janie & Jack, Hartstrings, Polo Ralph Lauren and Nautica and walk out with clothes bills that look like Walmart. It’s all about timing. Summer clearance sales start in August. Winter clearance sales start in February. Hit them right and you will walk out with a new wardrobe of very well made clothes! Outlet stores are particularly great for this.
#2 Never shop without a sale and a coupon.
If you can’t hit a sale with a coupon you are not going to get great savings. You do have to be cautious and check the store’s policies before planning to shop. Recently, some stores like Osh Kosh and Carters will not allow you to combine a coupon with clearance items. Steer clear of stores that won’t honor coupons on clearance.
#3 Shop the discount websites.
Zulily, Ideeli, Guilt and Totsy are just a few of the discount websites that offer pretty good deals on clothing and shoes. As an example, I saved about $80.00 recently purchasing Columbia Fleece coats for my twin boys. I got them for only $20.00 each. Of course, I purchased fall/winter coats in August. I did the same in July with three piece snow-suits. You have to jump on great deals when they are available on these sites. A good deal of off season stuff passes through.
#4 Not quite perfect.
Some of the larger manufacturers will offer consumers “NQP or Not Quite Perfect” items at a hefty discount. They do list what the problem was with the garment or shoes. If you don’t mind a sweater that ran a little larger or shoes that ran a little smaller this is a great deal. Lands End is one retailer that allows you to purchase not quite perfect items.
#5 Shop online at larger department stores.
JC Penney, Macy’s , Sears or even The Children’s Place have more inventory online than in the stores. When there are big sales (and you have a coupon) it is great to clean up on these sites. It is also far easier to sort by price when you shop online.