Across the nation, teachers are preparing their classrooms, parents are purchasing school supplies, and kids are wishing summer would never end! But it always ends and gives way to the beginning of a new school year. The new school year means it’s time to purchase new school clothes since most kids outgrow or wear out last year’s duds. Without spending a fortune, or making your child go to school in burlap sacks, you can follow these tips below to save money on a new wardrobe:

Shop the Sales with Coupons

Frugal shopping means hitting the sales, and better yet, shopping them with a coupon. One of my favorite places to pick up the basics is Old Navy. The quality of their clothing isn’t the greatest, but depending on how quickly your child grows,  basic pieces should last most of the school year. What’s great about this store is they frequently host sales throughout the summer.

Money Saving Tip: Keep your Old Navy receipt. At the bottom there’s a coupon you can use if you return within 5 days to receive an additional percent off.  Buy one or two pieces and return a few days later to purchase the remainder of your child’s wardrobe. Or, take an online survey and receive an additional 10% off your next purchase at Old Navy.

Organize a Clothes Swap

Kids grow quickly, sometimes so quickly they barely have time to wear the clothing you’ve purchased. Friends, relatives, and neighbors with kids encounter this same problem. Before selling the clothes at a garage sale or donating it, compare clothing sizes with your friends. You might find that little Megan’s dress fits your friend’s daughter Trista perfectly. Organizing a clothes swap can be a small or large event; think neighbors, mommy and me groups, or even your child’s school. Picking up a few new-to-you pieces by swapping out the old ones is a win-win situation.

Money Saving Tip: Set some guidelines before getting together. Make sure it’s clear you only want to swap “like new” items, meaning no stained or torn clothing please.

Get Creative at the Thrift Store

Depending on your child’s age, they may or may not like the idea of having their clothes come from a thrift store. One way to work around this is to purchase a few new items on sale at department stores and a few lightly used pieces at a thrift store. If you sew or are crafty with iron-on’s and beads, your child might be more interested in picking out a pair of jeans or a shirt at a thrift store. For younger children, this may not be an issue at all. In that case, you might be able to purchase most of their wardrobe for a fraction of what it would cost buying these same items new.

Money Saving Tip: Jeans are a great bargain at thrift stores. Spruce them up using iron-on’s or sew-on’s and beads.

How do you save money on school clothes?


  1. Some states may do tax-free days as well: no sales tax. Saves a few extra percent if you can hit the stores then.

  2. Great post! My mom used to give us $50 to spend whereever we pleased. I always chose the trift store because I could get so much, but my sister preferred to get one or two items at the mall. She was happy with her purchases, and I was happy with mine — but we both learned the value of the dollar.

    • @Christa – That’s interesting how you and your sister shopped completely differently. Was your sister ever jealous of how many items you ended up with compared to her two or three items?

  3. Amanda L Grossman Reply

    My husband and I just went to Old Navy today! We scored some great deals and had a $10 off $50 coupon on top of it. Woohoo!

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