Monday, August 5, 2013

School Clothes on a budget!

Its that time of year again .. the time when our nation as an average spends $688 bucks PER child PER year on school clothing!  Really? That is outrageous in my opinion .. maybe because its way out of our budget as a family .... maybe because honestly its a bit much .. excessive actually.  But I guess .. if you have it, spend it.

We have 5 children and this fall I will have 4 in school.  7th grade, 6th grade, Kindergarten and PreK.  I will admit Kindergarten and PreK  ... not a lot of shopping will happen for those two - they have clothing, it looks nice .. done.

My older girls need cloths ... and cute ones to boot.  Typically I am the mom who would say "this is what you have, wear it" but I would rather pay for the clothes they want now then pay for therapy in a few years because I forced them to wear sweaters all winter.

So from now until September I am on a mission to fill their closet with something in style, fashionable, modest, cute and CHEAP. 

My goal this year is to spent just $200 bucks, not counting shoes on my two middle school girls .. $200 bucks total.  Not each.  It works out good that they both wear the same size .. but it will still be a challenge! 

School clothes shopping on a budget is a long process.  I cant just head to the mall and do it all in one day.  But what I can do is hit all the summer sales at my favorite consignment sales, hunt yard sales and visit Goodwill each Monday. 

My first stop was Once Upon A Child.  They were holding a clearance sale and after 6pm everything marked with a red line was 75% off!
I spent just $36.28 and saved $187.99 off their marked prices!

A few weeks later I stopped at a VIP sale at one of my favorite consignment shops! Shes on Facebook and once a year the first 10 to comment get to come shop her $1.00 sale a day early!  This is the 2nd year I have made it to this preview sale!  Remember everything I bought was just a buck!  I will list her selling price to see how much I saved!
In the end I paid just $27.78 including tax!
Forget retail .. even if I had paid her prices it would have cost me $384.44!  A savings of 84%!!

For 4 weeks straight we stopped by Goodwill on Monday Mornings.  In NY our Goodwill's have a points program, each dollar spent is 1 point, 100 points is $5.00 your next trip.  Monday's are double points!
Each week we stopped at Goodwill I only bought the color tag that was 50% off.  My daughters size are normally $3.00 each so I bought them on sale for $1.50 a piece plus tax. I ended up spending $97.84 at Goodwill over the course of 4 weeks. Even if each item retails for $5.00 I would have spent $300.00 at Goodwill (and I am pretty sure $5.00 is a low-ball estimate!)

In the end here is what I ended up with:

12 skirts
8 dresses
13 jeans
10 other pants
7 leggings
9 long sleeved shirts
27 short sleeved shirts
5 hoodies
4 shorts

95 items! (average price of $1.70 each)

I spent $161.90 and saved at least $872.43 that's 82%

I think we are done!  Both girls have at least a weeks worth of outfits before I have to do laundry again!  Good enough for me!  They also still a lot from last year that still fits!  In a few weeks I plan on showing you how I change over closets and weed out what needs to be donated!

Click Here to see a few of the outfits we put together!


  1. You are a VERY smart woman!! I love that you were able to even get sale prices at GoodWill and consignment stores.
    I only have a son in school right now and I don't even buy him new clothes for school--I just buy at garage sales and thrift stores year round that he has enough clothes at all times. Thankfully he doesn't care about having new stuff for the start of the year.

  2. Wow!! Great way to save! You did absolutely wonderful!

  3. Way to go! I do my back to school shopping all summer...mostly from Goodwill! :) found you via link party, and am a new follower!

  4. Super thrifty and frugal shopping and I am sure you found some fabulous items to boot. There always seems to be so many great things for kids at my goodwill. More mothers need to shop there. Thanks for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  5. You can also hit the clothing banks which is also a big help when your low income and my boys especially my youngest just keeps growing he's 15 y/o and 5'11. Following from Nifty Thrifty link party lorraine at

  6. You did an amazing job with your finds. I love going to consignment stores and sales for my toddler girl. :)

  7. i'm the oldest of 8 and we always had to get creative at back to school time. as as high/middle schooler i probably would never worn thrifted stuff! you are lucky your girls will cause it saves sooo much money!

  8. You are insanely good at this. I cannot believe you were able to get 95 items for that price! I don't have children but may take a few of these tips for myself.

  9. Wow!! Those are amazing prices!! I'm very impressed. Thanks for sharing all the ways you saved money. So glad you linked up at Romance on a dime again. Hope to see you this Tuesday!

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