I know I'm a little late on talking about saving money on school, but I just started this blog and the tips can be used all year long. My school shopping starts the last day of school. Yes, its early but its the only way I can afford to get things. Little by little.
I have 2 options where I live to buy things new for school. Walmart and Fred Meyers. Both of which I cannot afford to pay full price. I'm usually at both places about once a week, just to keep up on their markdowns. I go to the bread store every week and Fred Meyers is across the street so its handy for me. I hit up every mark down section in each store. Every few weeks they mark down their stuff even more. Walmart will finally mark down things to $1 each. That's great for my budget. I can get shirts for my daughters, socks, undies, etc. The thing I find hard to get in the markdown section is jeans. I almost never find them for cheap.
Fred Meyers will have a sale the week before school starts and it will usually be 60% off the lowest marked price on clearance. This includes shoe's, clothes, and pretty much everything. I try to get their shoe's at this time. They have great brands like Converse, Nike, etc. Good shoe's that wont fall apart. I pick them over the Walmart fall apart (what we call them). But be aware that its packed and try not to bring small children if you can. It can get very overwhelming and stressful. Just bring the ones that have school and you need them to try on stuff. And have fun searching for good stuff.
Another option is thrift stores. Some people get weirded out by thrift stores but I grew up with them, and so have my children. We wash everything when we get home and set aside for school. You would be surprised whats at these places. This year I decided to use the same back packs from last year since they still looked brand new. I bought them from Gap for a really good sale price. Worth the money, they are made really good and sturdy. One was a messenger bag and the other is a back pack. Well my middle daughter wanted a messenger bag because the big kids use them. I found a Gap messenger bag at Goodwill and only paid about $1 for it. She was so happy. We find our winter coats this way, sweaters, and pretty much anything you can think of this way. I can afford name brands for them and not be broke. Most items are things kids never wore that their parents spent way too much money on. Their loss, my gain. Kids will never know these things are used and my kids can be super cool just like everyone else. My girls are so skinny that they can only wear certain brands that are way too much money for me to buy. So this is another plus for us. If you have a Goodwill outlet, shop there first. Everything is by pound so the more you buy, the less it is. Take a friend and split up the weight too. If you buy 50lbs or more you get it for only 69 cents per pound. That's super cheap. Shirts are only 10 cents, jeans are 30 cents about, etc. Plus the more friends you have, the more coverage you have in the store. We split up and meet every 20 minutes to swap what we found for them and what they found for you. Check their website to find a store near you.
Another place to find stuff is at garage sales. I find shoe's, shirts and pants for as little as 10 cents. Again, way worth the money. And if you take a bike ride with a backpack, no gas money involved. Really saving you money this way! Plus you can talk people down a bit if you want. I usually don't, most are just happy to get their stuff out of their house. Another good way to get stuff for your home this way. I have this addiction to old retro Tupperware. Its sad but true.
Hope this is helpful and you can still save money this way. There are lots of garage sales still going on. People are making room for their new stuff so hit up garage sales. Have fun!