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The $100 school wardrobe

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School clothes on a budget

Think that finding a $100 school wardrobe is about as obtainable as politicians finding a solution to a $14 trillion debt? It’s tricky, yes, but not impossible. Here are a few suggestions to help you dress your child for less.

School clothes on a budget

1Set boundaries & budgets.

The younger the child, the easier it is to build a great wardrobe for around $100. As your children grow into teens and just have to have those $150 skateboarding shoes for back to school, it's time for them to get a job and either split the cost with you or pay for the shoes themselves. During the summer, young children can do chores to earn money for extras they really want. It's perfectly OK to tell your child you have set a budget of $100, and if they want anything more than that, they will have to figure out a way to pay for it. By doing this, you not only give your household budget a break, but you also instill in children the need to work for the extra things they want in life.

2Mix & match.

Choosing interchangeable pieces is a vital component to sticking to a $100 budget. A couple pairs of jeans and khakis on sale are a good start. Shirts in solid colors tend to be less expensive -- but not less fashionable, because they layer well, and layered looks are always a hit.

3Look for sales.

This seems like a no-brainer, but department stores will really be fighting for your business this year. With a little effort, finding the styles and prices you and your child have agreed upon is possible. Online coupons can be helpful to this end. Check your email for messages about all those reward programs for which you've signed up. You may very well have a small fortune in savings stacking up in your inbox.

4What is old is new.

What pieces of clothing does your child already have that he can still use? What can you hand down from an older sibling? This sounds boring (and potentially horrifying to your child), but it can be turned around with the right approach. When you show your younger daughter her big sister's shirt, tell her that the new necklace, earrings or scarf she's been coveting will look great with it.

More back-to-school tips

How to dress your child for school
Mom secrets for the first day of school
5 School clothes every kid needs

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