Secrets for saving money on back-to-school clothing

Students and teacher use school supplies
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When you’re shopping for back-to-school items, it’s hard to keep walking past all those clothing deals and not buy a few outfits. While you will want to keep your eyes open for specials, it turns out that if you really want to save on clothing, you may want to wait a while.

That’s because you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for back-to-school clothing right now. Walmart’s Matt Goans said if you want clothing now, big box stores may surprise you.

“Walmart now has Justice brand. They have been with Walmart a couple of years now, with shirts for $15,” Goans said.

MORE: Simple ways to save on back-to-school shopping as sales get underway

If you are a Target shopper, Target’s Cat and Jack brand also offers trendy school clothing for less than $20. But unless your child wears a uniform, mom Vondi Wheeler says back-to-school shopping for a high school student isn’t always that simple.

“My youngest daughter was in normal, regular clothes and it was a nightmare when it came to prices,” she said.

What You Can Do About High Prices

This year the National Retail Federation expects families to spend $257 on clothing and accessories for back to school. But that’s just the start: you can add another $167 for shoes. Jamie Miles of Passionate Penny Pincher gave some easy ways to slash those numbers.

“You don’t have to drag all your kids to the mall and come home and having spent $1,000. That is totally unnecessary,” she said. “Resist the FOMO (the fear of missing out).”

Instead, she suggests you stick to first-day-of-school outfits, and not worry about September clothing until the Labor Day sales start.

And before you go to the store, have a try-on day to know your child’s size.

Miles also has a great backpack rule that all parents can try. She recommends to wait until after school starts.

“The one that’s $40 now will be $7 in three weeks because they slash them on clearance,” she said.

Another way to save, she says, is to try shopping for gently used clothing at Goodwill or consignment stores or used clothing stores like Once Upon a Child.

For those one or two must-have items, Miles says sign up for emails or texts on the retailer’s website.

Mom Johanna Anderson is just glad her 5-year-old daughter isn’t asking for designer clothes just yet.

“We’ll get there eventually, I’m sure,” she said.

Until then, don’t waste your money.

About the Author
John Matarese

John's goal is to help as many TV viewers as possible save money, avoid bad deals, know a rip-off when one comes their way, and be educated consumers. His informative weekly consumer segment "Don't Waste Your Money" now airs on 45 TV stations from San Diego to Tampa to Houston and Cincinnati. More.


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