Monday, July 27, 2009

The Poor mom's guide to back to school shopping.

i keep seeing budget woes on blogs and Facebook concerning back to school clothes shopping.

so i'm gonna share the secrets of a poor mom.

because let's face it. I've been low budget for entirely too long. (always? pretty much!)

So, i'll tell you the basics.

  • i don't take the kids to pick their own Shoes for a couple reasons. (unless they are an odd fit or something) 1. I don't have to say no to ugly shoes 2. no one is begging for expensive shoes that are out of my price range.
they are THRILLED to get something that i just brought home. if they don't fit, i take them back and exchange them. but it works darn fabulously to get it done on a budget.

  • I get everyone something new to wear on the first day of school. if money is extra tight they all get a new shirt and that's it. if we have more money, they get a whole outfit for the first day. and maybe a few new shirts , enough for the first week. all from a regular store (meaning other than a thrift store)
seriously no one needs a whole new wardrobe for the new school year. especially since the back to school lines are all fall colors and styles, and we start in the summer here. then i can spread out the winter buying , new jeans for those that need them as the need comes up . long sleeves, jackets etc.

the rest of the kid's substantial wardrobes. come from SAVERS . or Goodwill. thrift stores.etc.
there are tons of brand name items at these stores for CHEAP! SUPER CHEAP. especially when i shop on 50% off days. Goodwill has them every other week. and Savers typically has them on national holidays like Labor day. Memorial day, Presidents day and Veterans day.

wanna see what i've bought before at savers i've blogged in the past about it.





backpacks. aren't' cheap . last year i didn't have funds to buy new ones for the girls, and the bags from the year before weren't making a comeback. so i did THIS drab to fab backpack redo.

it was cuter than anything i could have purchased.

apparently it was so great, the girls expect me to glam up their new backpacks. (it's on my TO DO list)

i'm kind of kicking myself for not getting super cheap $5 walmart backpacks , since i'm redoing the $20 Roxy ones. ridiculous.

anyway. that is how this poor low budget mom does back to school.


By the way i didn't take my own advice today, and regret it. I went shopping for shoes with the 3 girls plus Pierce and it was HELL! seriously , we didn't even find anything in the right sizes, people asked for UGLY CHARACTER CRAP, or stuff that was UGLY AND EXPENSIVE and Pierce ran around.

now that i know their sizes, I'm going alone. and doing it like i normally do. chalk it up to a momentary lapse of reason.

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© 2009 crazymamaof6


Leslie said...

I like your idea about not taking the kids to buy shoes. I may have to do that.

I don't buy backpacks if last years are still good. Seriously, who really notices. Unfortunetly I had to buy 3 new ones this year.

I agree they don't need a whole new wardrobe for the begging of the school year and I try to have a new outfit for the first day. Jacob just had a birthday and alot of what he got was clothes so that was nice. My boys don't seem to care one way or another but Layna is starting like clothes.

What I am dreading is the school list. I hate having to hunt and peck for that specific item that is on the teachers list.

Supercool Hotmama said...

I agree. I don't take the kids to buy anything. I usually know their sizes and if they don't see what they're missing, they think the clearance stuff I bring home is great. If they get to see the $30 shirts or the $70 jeans, then they're often dissatisfied with the sale stuff.

The Montgomerys said...

I love you! Your the best! This is our first year at this so thanks for all the great ideas!


I completely agree with the no need for a whole new wardobe idea. I have drawers full of fabulous clothes. I also have a garge stocked up on last years $3 clearence back packs from Target. I love shopping in my garage. Great tips:)

Jen said...

I don't take mine either if I can help it! Vans is packed so no kids there either, don't even try to take them! I have been buying here and there, but I think each boy only got 2 new shirts and Corbin got shoes but that is all we are doing. If it ain't on sale for a good deal we aren't getting it. And I lucked out with a back pack this year and got it from Old Navy on sale.

Laura said...

I already said this but I take them each out to lunch (not expensive either) and then they pick one item. Usually shoes.

I do the rest alone. Allowing me the time, the sales and all the control. I do buy more than I need too considering back to school is warm and its all fall clothing. I never got a back to school wardrobe as a kid so I get more into it making sure it feels new and special. certainly one outfit does that trick though, right?

Jenifer said...

I lucked out at Target and got all my kids clothes on the clearance rack. A TON of stuff for 2.98 and 1.48. Awesome. My kids are getting old enough that I can't pick out their stuff, appearantly I don't know anything about what they want.
Great advice, I too hate the character shoes. Ugh.

mom2three said...

great advice! I have to say I am chicken and have never been in a savers or goodwill store...I love the idea but for some reason my weirdness phobia gets in the way. I did luck out at Target too this year and got my daughter 4 new pairs of jeans for like 4.00 a pair....that was awesome! I like to shop in the wrong I know coming up super soon all the summer stuff will be way way on clearance and Ill stock up on some stuff.

Jenn said...

My deal for any clothing shopping is that I work at Kohls and I get to clearance stuff first and put it on hold and get it when I get my deepest discounts. I know its totally cheating---- but we figured working part time would pay off in that sense. We just loaded up on new pants for the new school year five pairs for both kids each and two new shirts and backpacks last weekend and spent just over $100. Both of them needed new pants- the girl out grew hers and the boy outwore his. We shop the thrift stores as well. I have no problem buying form a thrift store--- just as wonderful and already broke in. Not a bad deal.

jayna said...

you are so talented. look at that dang back pack!! if i ever have kids then i'm comin to you for all the good bargain advice!! love it!

Janelle said...

Ok, I LOVE the backpack!! You're so rad!
I love thrift store shopping and ebay too, my girls are teenagers now but they love hand me downs and good thrift store finds better than the new stuff! It's probably cause I don't b*tch about buyin it as much! And of course, it's called "vintage" now!

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