It’s a bittersweet day, sending your kids off to their first day of school. It’s a new year, a new grade, new teachers and new adventures. You’ve packed that new backpack that solely determined their status within the culture of an elementary classroom, with every single supply item on their list and then some. After packing it you realized, they may need to lean forward so they don’t tip over backwards. Maybe you’re dropping them off at the doors and watching them walk in with their friends, or maybe you’re waving to them as they board the school bus. For some, you may be fighting back tears or talking yourself out of a panic attack as they leave the driveway in their own vehicle. However you send them off, there is one thing many of us notice…our children are more stylish than we are. When did that happen?
I was recently having this conversation with my girlfriends over coffee. We were discussing the mini meltdowns we’ve been having over our children being another year older and starting new grades. The conversation also turned to a couple of them gathering up clothes, toys, and other items that they’re children had outgrown and selling them. One friend, whose daughter is now 7, had gathered up clothes from her younger years and was astounded at how many outfits she had for a then 2 year old. “She has more pants than I do! What 2 year old needs 29 pairs of pants!?” Another one of the girls was showing us pictures of clothing she was laying out for a neighborhood wide yard sale and we laughed as we pointed out a jacket that had cycled between two of the kids in our group. It was at this time we began talking about how stylish kids are nowadays. We reminisced back to the days when we were as young as our children are now and what our clothes looked like. “I’m pretty sure I wore an oversize Bugs Bunny t-shirt and clothing that looked like the store Claire’s threw up on me” I told them.
Just like the back to school supply lists, shopping for clothes to start off the new school year is an endeavor unique to each family. Some kids grow faster than others, their styles often change, they are obsessed with a new character all the time, the list can go on. So what are the best options for back to school clothing on a budget? Here are a few simple ideas to get your kids back to school that will make everyone happy and won’t break the bank.
- End of Season Clearance: Even though you may not be thinking “back to school” all throughout the year, there are great opportunities to snag some great deals when stores have clearance sales. When stores are trying to move in new inventory for the next season, they need to get last season’s merchandise out of their way. You can save a lot of money and be ahead of the game this way.
- Friends and family discount: If you have friends or family with children close in age to yours, hit them up for some gently used clothing. Kids grow so fast, sometimes their clothes don’t have time to get as worn as adult clothes. Besides, your kids will be way too excited about the Disney Princess or Superhero on that shirt to even care where it came from.
- Community and neighborhood sales: At certain times of the year, communities or neighborhoods will hold mass yard sales. These can always be hit or miss, but they can also be gold mines when you’re shopping for little ones. You could come home with twice what you would from a department store and spend far less! Plus, this option can work both ways, especially if you’re the one in need of some extra cash.
Speaking of clothes, while my kids are at school I’m going to go do some closet thinning. It’s far easier to do it when they aren’t home and won’t notice, than to do it when they are home and try to give me a college level dissertation on why they NEED a Little Mermaid shirt that is now three sizes too small. I’m Claire, the Afena blog mom. Thanks for reading!