3 Steps to Back-to-School Clothes Shopping on a Dime

Unless your child attends a private or parochial school with mandatory uniforms, you’re probably clothes shopping right about now to find new outfits for the kids to wear this back to school season.

Discount stores such as Target and Wal-Mart are a good place to head, however, consignment and resale shops are even better if you’re looking to save a buck.

Here’s how to get the most for your money during back-to-school season in three easy steps.

1. Get Rid of the Old.

If your children are in need of new clothes this fall, that could be in part because they outgrew last year’s clothes. Raid your child’s closet to find those items that are too small, but don’t contain tears, several missing buttons or broken zippers. The same goes for shoes. Pile as many of these items into bags and boxes as you can.

2. Find a resale shop near you.

Whether it’s a consignment or exchange shop, look for a store near you that sells and buys gently used clothing. These places will determine the resale value of the items you just pulled from your closets and storage and will offer you a percentage of that value in cash or as store credit in exchange for your items. Some shops with locations nationwide include Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, Once Upon a Child, or Crossroads Trading Co.

3. Purchase Gently-Used Items.

With the cash you earned from your trade-ins, purchase stylish clothes that fit from these same shops. Some, like Plato’s Closet and Crossroads, carry a lot of name brand items.

Tip: Involve your child in the process.

Whether it is a young school-ager or a teenager, have your child help select items to sell.

Set a shopping budget based on the money they receive from the store, supplemented by a few dollars from their allowance or money you paid them for participating.

Let them go shopping within this budget. You’re not only teaching them a valuable lesson, but quickly you’ll see how unimportant certain items become when they have to spend their own cash.

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