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It is that time already. The time to empty your empty wallet and buy school supplies and school clothes. I am a mom of three and two are in school. I often think I work just to keep them from being naked. I have come up with a couple of tips to keep my expenses down and my children in style.
1) Hand me downs are super!
The tip to receiving great hand me downs is find a friend or family member with a child who is older than yours. Then you ask for their clothes when they are done. I also organize a clothing swap with parents in the neighborhood. I find that if you have a large number of people you can score a lot of great items.
2) You need to go on a treasure hunt and really document what your child has. You need to look everywhere and anywhere and take a n inventory. We often overbuy and that is wasteful. (I am still mastering not overbuying for my daughter the fashionable two year old.) I take my list that I keep in my purse. Then I mark off items as I buy them.
3) Buy items as you need them and when you see them on sale. I often see people that rush out and buy their child’s whole fall wardrobe at once this is quick but not inexpensive.
4) I use my credit card rewards from Discover Card to buy gift cards. I put everything on my credit cards and every Thursday night I pay it off. This way I “extra” money. They also have deals where when you use your reward dollars you can buy larger amount credit cards. It is like getting free money twice.
5) Buy items when they are on sale and use coupons. I also ask relatives to give the kids a small gift and gift cards for holidays. Then when it is time to go shopping they are able to budget. There are also several sites that you can buy other people’s gift cards for less than the value of the cards. I love plastic jungle and I have been able to snag cards at 20% off. Then I pair those cards with a coupon and I have a huge sale on the items the kids need.
6) Sell their old clothes and use the money to buy new clothes. I sell clothes at the local consignment shop or on Craigs list and on ebay.
Here is a link to ALL my fashion secrets.
What is your best school shopping tip ?
I am a frugal fashion goddess. I believe attitude and aptitude can put you in the “what to wear” category. I say look at what you have and accentuate your features and hide those flaws. What flaws? I love a good deal at the grocery store and I love a fashion score even better. I put together an outfit for under $25. I dress in designer clothes and I never take a financial plunge to get there. I believe it isn’t what you save but it is what you spend!
The grab bag of jewels. This was a huge score for $3.95 I got 16 necklaces. I found three items and my children received the rest.
Ann Taylor Blouse. It is fancy and a little sexy. I bought it for $3.50 it was new with tags at goodwill. The shorts were Jcrew and I bought them for $3.50 also at goodwill on another trip. I actually had a pair of these in a size larger but they were to big so I picked them up for $3.50. The necklace was about $.25. I actually think I have nice legs thus the shorts. The look is fun and sassy.
Then you close the deal with the heels. I got these Banana Republic heels for $14.00 at Plato’s closet. I love a metallic heel. I also love the peep toe.
The items I selected can all be mixed and matched seamlessly in your wardrobe. It is fun to pair work wear up with street wear. The best part is I got all the designer items above for under $25.00. Here is a link to my fashion secrets.
The worst part of a trip is packing. The what ifs are overwhelming. What if it is hot, cold, raining or snowing? How do I get it all in that little suitcase? How do I look cute and dress appropriately? I am on my way to Chicago for my annual girl’s weekend. I am gone Friday- Sunday. I will not be eating anywhere with coloring books! I am going to tell you my husband says I am not the lightest packer. I am however fashionable and frugal. I always bring a bag that I can bring stuff home in if I need them.
3 Dresses The red one was $4 Goodwill, Green $12.99 Ross, Black $29.99 Ross
Under garments and swimsuit (hoping for a steam room or hot tub)
raincoat $29.99 Sam’s club , zipper sweater Jcrew outlet $20, cardigan $4 Goodwill, Shiny coat $20 Jcrew outlet sale
Black pants $30 Plato’s closet normally $160
Jeans $42 normally Plato’s closet $187
Yoga Pants $10 Sam’s club
2 short sleeve shirts $25 mint ebay, HM $4 goodwill
2 pairs of ballet flats $50 coach Tj Maxx, $10 Jcrew sale
1 go out purse
Dooney bag $50 Goodwill
1 pair of girl shoes meant to get you to dinner but not tour the city
Button down with a print
Tip to save money- Bring a bag that you can use as a purse on the way home for items you pick up.(I pack my clothes in the bag to save room on the way there) I always bring a travel umbrella and reusable shopping bags to put my souvenirs in.
NOTE: I only bought two dresses for my trip. The rest of the clothes were from my closet!