It’s still summer, your days ripe with swimming and popsicles and vacations, and then you get it … a reminder. Whether it’s from your kids’ school about their uniform requirements or you randomly look at the calendar and realize the days are waning.
Before the idea of school preparation ruins the rest of your lazy days and makes you start pinching pennies on summer fun, don’t panic. There are a number of options for saving whether it’s on school uniforms, and even on those designer jeans your teenager is clamoring for:
• First clean the closet to find the clothing items that aren’t worn out. For the ones that still fit make a list of possible tops or bottoms to make a fresh look. Items that don’t, sell them! The extra cash will help as you head out to shop.
• Most discount stores now carry basic uniform pieces of solid color polo shirts and khaki pants and skirts. Check stores like Target, Walmart and J.C. Penney for the lowest prices.
• Local thrift stores fill up in the summertime with families’ outgrown pieces. Make time during your regular errands to pop in to the Goodwill or other local thrift store to check weekly for lightly worn basics.
• School Uniform Resale is an online site where families can buy and sell gently used uniform pieces. There’s a simple search box to check in your area, and you can start a page for your school if there isn’t one already.
• Clothing swaps are a great way to freshen up the wardrobe without breaking out the wallet. Moms often put old clothes into boxes thinking there is life in these duds. Brew a pot of coffee bringing the boxes and moms together, and swap!
• Stores often offer discounts right after school starts. If your children are growing like weeds and need complete new wardrobes, buy a limited number of pieces to get them through the first few weeks, then stock up during the sales.
• If high quality is a high priority, at least on some of the have-to-last-all-year-basics, you can find staples at stores and online retailers like L.L. Bean, French Toast and Lands End.
• Does your school have a Facebook group? You can use that to buy, sell or trade uniforms with other parents.
• You can also try NextDoor.com if there is an active one in your community. Next Door is a free online social network for neighborhoods and it has a Classifieds section.
• If your kids are at the age they are begging for expensive designer clothing, try Ebay and Poshmark. Both are easy to use and well stocked with popular high-end labels. The racks of T.J.Maxx, Ross or Marshalls require a time commitment but they do hold designer treasures at a discounted price.
While the time and energy spent to tackle this annual task may seem exhausting, take comfort in the money saved. Knowing that will give you just a little peace of mind while you sit back and enjoy the last leg of this summer break.
You’ll also like A Parent’s Simple Strategy For Surviving (and Enjoying) Summer, Maintaining Your Sanity Through the School Year, 7 Things Your Daughter Needs for Back to School and 7 Tips for Saving on Back-to-School Shopping