Shopping for School Clothes on a Budget

The beginning of the new school year is fastly approaching. Getting your children ready to go back to school does not need to be stressful. Planning early for your child’s school necessities is essential to stay within budget.

Tips on Shopping for Your Child’s School Clothes

Children seem to sprout up a couple of inches every summer. When school time comes around, a whole new wardrobe may be necessary. Before starting school clothes shopping, check the current student handbook to learn about any dress code changes. 

Make Lists

Lists are a must when preparing for the new school year. Consider picking up a spiral notebook to keep all your needs in one location. 

Check the Closets

Go through your child’s clothing. Use this time to clean out any unwearable items. Making piles of your child’s clothing helps get an overall view of the situation. 


  • School Wearable: The pile consists of clothing suitable for school wear. Extending their use, summer clothing may still be worn during the warmer fall days. 
  • Home Wearable: The pile consists of clothing only suitable for stay at home days. The clothes may look worn.
  • Donation: Clothing still in good condition go into this pile. The clothes are wearable but no longer fit your child. The clothes in this pile may be suitable for resale at a consignment shop, garage sale, or simply donated to your nearest charity. 
  • Discard: Clothes with stains or unrepairable holes go into this pile.


Creating piles provides the perfect opportunity to assess your child’s clothing needs. Make an inventory of wearable clothes to help prepare a shopping list of needed items. Do not forget to check footwear. 

Begin Shopping

After creating your child’s list of necessities, time to go shopping. 


  • Updating Wearable Clothing: When creating your wearable piles, did you see any clothing that could use updating. Get creative. Sewing on new buttons, dyeing clothes, or adding other embellishments may extend the use of your child’s clothes. 
  • Go to Consignment and Thrift Shops: Going to your local second-hand store may result in some terrific clothing finds at a lower cost.
  • Garage and Yard Sales: Like you, other parents are preparing for the upcoming school year by selling off unwearable clothing. 
  • Social Media Marketplace: Many communities host social media marketplaces. Basically, the marketplace is an online garage sale. Searching different marketplaces in your area may result in back to school clothing finds. 
  • Clearance Section: When children start going back to school, warmer days are still around. The good news, many clothing chains are already discounting summer wear to make room for winter items. 
  • Ad Deals: Search different ads to find upcoming sales on need clothing items. Use the Internet to comparison shop. 


Back to school is an exciting time for your child. Creating lists and searching for the best deals will help eliminate the stress of back to school shopping on a budget. 





August: National Back to School Month

August is back to school month. Summer is quickly coming to a close. Many team sports will be starting practice soon. The first day of school is just around the corner. The big question, are you ready?

Back to School Checklist

Grab a spiral notebook or your tablet to make your own back to school checklist. Do you need help planning? Attending your child’s school open house or orientation is one of the best ways to learn about specific needs for your child’s grade level.

An open house allows your child to meet the teacher, view the classroom, and learn busing information. Spending time at the school before the first day will ease your student back into the routine. If you are unable to attend, consider the following areas for preparing your child to go back to school.

School Clothes

Before heading out to buy clothes, check the school’s website or student handbook for the current dress code. Being up to date on new restrictions helps determine the type of clothes to purchase.

  • Take inventory.
  • Make a list of needed clothing items.
  • Set a budget.
  • Go shopping

School Supplies

Your child’s school website generally shows a list of needed supplies for each grade level. If not, many department stores have a basic checklist of school supplies for each grade level.

Items may include:

  • Backpack
  • Notebook paper
  • Pencils/Pens
  • Pencil Box
  • Glue
  • Binders
  • Lunch Bags

Classroom Needs

Many teachers will post classroom needs. When you are out shopping, picking up a couple of items helps teachers stock the classroom for the year. Generally, tissues and hand sanitizer is at the top of the list.

School Emergency Update

Most schools use online systems for contact or emergency information. When logging in, make certain all the information is current. If your school does not have an online setup, fill out the necessary paperwork to provide accurate contact information.

Back to school is a fun and exciting time for your child. Being prepared helps alleviate stress for both of you. Enjoy the time, make a special first day back to school breakfast or dinner to celebrate the return.




End of the School Year Celebration Ideas

Time marches by quickly. Embrace the daily triumphs. Ending a school year is a milestone in your child’s life. Not to mention, you deserve recognition for last minute school snacks, homework help, field trips, and on some days simply getting your child to school on time.

As the last day of school arrives, take the time to celebrate. Scheduling conflicts may not allow your celebration to occur exactly on the last day, still take the time to recognize the accomplishment. The celebration can be a simple family dinner with a special dessert to a large party with your child’s friends.

End of the School Year Party Ideas

If you are uncertain how to celebrate, ask your child for input. Often your child’s idea may be something you would have never thought about as a fun way to celebrate. Or you can consider any of the following:

  • Special family dinner
  • Family game night
  • Trip to the local bookstore to purchase books for summer reading
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Pool party (if the weather permits)
  • Backyard beach party
  • Harry Potter theme party
  • Comic book, princess or other theme party
  • End of the school year theme party
  • Trip to the local ice cream shop
  • Dinner out at your child’s favorite restaurant
  • Pizza party
  • Video game night
  • Arts and crafts party
  • Outdoor games party
  • Trip to the park, zoo or other local attraction
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Movie night
  • Picnic in the park or your own backyard
  • Attend a major or minor league baseball game or other sporting events
  • Water balloon “fight” or other water-related activities

The possibilities on how to celebrate the end of a school year are endless. Surprisingly, a simple ice cream pie to celebrate the end of the school year may easily become a lasting memory.

Editor’s note: This blog is an updated version from one on my other site.




2018: The Year to Make Memories

Do you want to start a new tradition for yourself, your family, or your furbabies? Consider creating a memory box. Living in a digital age, small moments often get lost in the technological universe. Keeping a record of memorable days does not require attending large social affairs or ultimate road trips. Even though, both would be an excellent addition. Taking time to record simple, daily events may be the most memorable moments of the year.

The Memory Box

The memory box can be an old shoe box, a popcorn tin from the holidays, or a plastic basket from your local dollar store. You just need to create a space to store your memories. Get creative, decorate the box. If you have young children, consider making the box an afternoon project.

Feel free to create a unique, one of kind memory box for you or your family to enjoy.

What to Put in the Memory Box?

Keep in mind, there is not a specific guideline on what to put in your memory box. Creating a tangible storage space away from your digital devices is one reason for creating a memory box. Having fun is another reason.

1. Every Day Moments

Every day should be a celebration. Your child takes his or her first steps. Your son finally mastered Algebra. Your daughter got the lead in the school play. Or you received recognition for a project at work. Small moments go by quickly. Use index cards, notecards or scraps of paper to write about the daily event. Encourage children to participate. Even if they just draw small pictures, the notecard can be part of the box.

2. Ask Questions

Asking questions is another way to encourage your children to participate. At the same times, you are opening lines of communication. Questions to ask may include:

  • What was your favorite part of school today?
  • What do you want to do when you grow up?
  • What did you eat at lunch?
  • Did anything funny happen in school or practice?

Just keep an open mind, when you find out your son laughed and milk came out of his nose. And, he instantly became a lunchtime sensation.

3. Postcards

 Going on day trips, field trips, family vacations or even a trip to your local grocery store, you will see postcards for sale. Postcards are an inexpensive resource for making memories. Picking up a few postcards or allowing your child select a favorite, allows you to record your visit with a picture. Ask your child to tell you the favorite part of the trip. Jotting down a couple lines on the back of postcard provides an instant keepsake.

4. Other Memorabilia

When you begin adding items to your memory box, you will soon learn in the world of technological devices, a paper trail still exists.

  • Movie tickets stubs
  • Concert tickets
  • Program brochures
  • Schedule of events guides
  • Menus
  • Fortune cookie inserts

The list is endless. By keeping the small items, you can jot notes in the margins. Or add a notecard later describing the experience.

What Next?

What do you do when the year comes to a close? Open the box, review your memories, place them in a scrapbook, or create time capsules to view down the road. The small effort you make to today to add little notes will leave a larger impact later when you read the memories.





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