School supplies and new school clothes can quickly add up. Before you head out the door, be sure to set a budget. Make a list of must-haves, and if you come in under budget, you can spurge on a few fun "want-to-haves".
Check your mailbox for retailers' promotional flyers, register to receive your kids' favorite stores sale notifications and coupons via email, and sign up for retailers' rewards programs to receive discounts and special promotions. If you wait for store sales, you can score big by combining sale prices with an additional discount from the coupons (but be sure to read the fine print to ensure the retailer will honor the coupon on a sale-priced item).
Let's face it: there are some things that your kids just go through. Whether it's underwear or No. 2 pencils, be sure to stock up on your child's essentials, especially if you're buying in bulk and you know the items will get used.
Many stores will be having end of summer sales where you can snatch up essentials for a steal. Consider the season though, and don't buy anything too seasonal or trendy that will be passé by next summer. T-shirts and capris are great summer steals because they can be worn nearly year round with additional layers, so you'll be sure to get your money's worth.
Check out consignment stores and thrift stores for gently used items. Certain consignment stores are very particular about the items they carry; many of the items are very much like new – without the new clothing price. Some thrift stores even price the by pound – you can get a shocking amount of clothes for $20! Be sure to wash everything when you get home. If you need big-ticket items such as a new desk for your child's room, check websites such as Craig's List or Freecycle.
If your state recognizes tax-free holidays, plan your shopping spree accordingly. If you have lots of shopping to do, this can really be a great way to save a bundle.
Make sure to your kids are in tow for the shopping trip. This might be more fun for some than others, but you'll want to make sure the clothes fit and that your kids have a chance to share their opinion on their likes and dislikes.
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