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Back to School Shopping

School shopping – One of my favorite past times since … well – ever! Still this year I’m a bit older and a bit wiser and little bit less eager to hand over my cash for things like paper, socks and shoes. Lucky for me, I like a great bargain and a good deal almost as much as I like shopping.

Here’s how I saved while stocking up this year:

1) I Cleaned out my kids closets.

Before we even thought about shopping this year we gave our closets a total overhaul. I handed down items that could move from one brother to another, held on to sentimental pieces I am hoping to turn in to a handmade quilt and washed and sorted the rest to take to local consignment shops.

I made almost $100 with a trunk full of too small clothes and still had 2 large boxes to sell elsewhere or donate to kids who really need them.

Amount Saved – Over $100

2) I Bought Used.

With my cash from cleaning out the closets in hand, I scoured the same consignment shop racking up like-new polos for school, swim shorts my boys can wear here in Texas year round and nice jeans for my daughter I never would have paid full price for. By purchasing the same day I sold, my items were tax free too – saving me another 8%!

Amount Saved – Approx. $130

3) I Only Buy Kids Stuff on Sale.

I’m not sure I have ever paid full price for an item for my kids. Seriously, some times they ask more than I am willing to pay for my own clothes! It kills me to think of paying so much for such a tiny piece of fabric. I buy clothes on sale, during buy one, get one 1/2 off or other promos, with reward points and on store credit as often as I can. Military appreciation days and shopping at the Base or Post Exchange for brand name shoes are a personal money saving favorite of mine. I scored the Nikes in this photo for $25 from our local PX, that’s the most I ever pay for my kids shoes. The fun purple sneakers for my daughter were $17 on sale at Target last week.

Amount Saved – $200

4) Stock Up All Year

No one says you have to buy all your back to school items in July & August. Look for great deals in stores and online all year long. Even scour flea markets and thrift shops for barely used back packs and binders and things. I bought my daughter’s Hello Kitty lunch box, exactly as pictured 2 for $10 last year on sale at my local grocery store. My youngest got the Spider Man lunch bag I pack for us when we’re on the go.

I found the cutest colored socks ever, almost like the ones in this photo on sale at Walmart yesterday for $4. She has enough rainbow socks for 2 weeks of school for less than $10. This may not sound like a huge saving, but this little one is all about the crazy colored socks and the smile on her face when she saw them made them worth the purchase. If your little girl likes cool socks too, you can often find them in the $1 aisle at Target.

Amount Saved – $50

5) Jump on a Great Deal When You See It

I know I just told you I only buy things for my kids when they are on sale … but with this purchase, I didnt have to wait. We started looking for a nice, quality back pack for my son months ago. I wanted something built to last and something he wouldn’t grow tired of or be embarrassed of later. I thought I had settled on a sturdy lifetime guarantee Lands End backpack, but when we found this option at Target for just $10 and it was solidly constructed – I knew we had our winner. We plan to jazz it up a bit for him with some angry bird keychains on the zippers.

This step also covers all the incredible back to school supplies sales. Crayons for $.25 – check, Markers for $.50, check, folders for $.05, you betcha! School supply shopping is truly my favorite part of this season. We stock up our homeschool and writing center too. This year, I even grabbed these great deals on tax free weekend so I saved even more!

Amount Saved – $35

6) Take advantage of your rewards

I picked up both the dresses you see here thanks to gift cards from Target and reward points from Old Navy for less than $10. You can still find the Purple here and Blue Polka Dots here.

Amount Saved – $15 (this month)

So there you have it, that’s how I saved more than I spent on back to school shopping — we saved more than $525 this year!!

Have a tip of your own? Share it with us in the comments section so we can all save a little more. We’ll thank you big time come holiday shopping season.

Don’t miss the rest of our Back to School posts this year, join me on Facebook or get plenty of lunch ideas sent straight to your inbox.


Stacy is seeing the world in a whole new way – through the eyes of her children. She writes about the little things, the big things and all the “stuff” in between at Kids Stuff World.

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22 thoughts on “Back to School Shopping”

  • Great tips! I only buy sales clothes too, although now that I’m speedy on the sewing machine I can’t even justify the sale prices most of the time! For children that are still growing really fast, I only buy one pair of shoes at a time (plus sandals or slippers) because they outgrow them way before they wear out!

  • What a great list of ways to save. I love thrift shops and garage sales. Kids grow so fast and young ones usually don’t care about designer labels – they just want to be comfortable and have something make them feel happy. Love this. Off to pin it.

  • Great tips, Stacey. I love shopping at consignment sales and kids’ consignment stores. Just found a new store yesterday and scored brand new rain boots for 2 of my kids for less than $20 for both. My kids love their rain boots and the boots wear out before they out grow them so I was doing a little happy dance. :-)

  • For clothes I shop the clearance racks at our local Fred Meyer store, OshKosh & Carters outlets for next year. My boy is 15 months old now but I just picked up a swimwuit, shorts & t-shirts for him for next summer in sz 2T at a fraction of the reg price! OshKosh, Carters, Carhartt go on clearance at Fbefore the season is even over & then during certain weeks they have an additional 50% off that price! I started doing this when he was born & have gotten $40 items for as little as $5 :-)

  • stacy!!!!

    these are great tips.
    i wish i would have cleaned out the kids’ drawers before school. yes, to save money & see what we could pass down but also to be more organized!

    now, i’m scrambling for time. great tips!


  • Any tip for saving money is always welcome, but this post is awesome! You have to be lauded for taking the time to sort out the closets first in preparation for the school shopping. I call this vision and it shows how it’s working to your advantage. Great savings!

  • I always shop off season. I buy swimsuits in the fall, jackets in the summer ect. I also buy more expensive items like coats to fit several years (at least 2). I always shop the clearance racks & unless there is a sale, I don’t even look at the other things in the store.

  • I know these an older post, but great ideas before shopping for back to school. Actually they are great ideas for all year round.

  • I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for.

    Does one offer guest writers to write content available for you?
    I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome weblog!

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