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Back To School Clothes On A Budget

September has, for many years, been the month that most of us recognize as the month for students around the country to leave behind summer vacation and head back to school. Although many areas of the country have adopted year round school schedules, September is still thought of as the traditional month that the new school year begins.

The month of August is recognized as the back to school shopping month for most students and parents as they hurry to malls, department stores, swap meets, and neighborhood centers in droves, trying to find the new school year's most fashionable styles of clothing that students want to wear.

Although it is their children's time to shine, many parents enjoy the shopping trips, too. They want their children to look good as they head back to the halls of learning, so they gear up to shop til they drop and to spend whatever time and money it takes to make the fashion grade.

School clothes are not cheap by any means. A parent can end up spending many hundreds of dollars on each child, maybe thousands, before it's over. In tough economic times, it becomes more difficult to please a child's fashion desires because of the costs. In many cases, the money just is not there.

So what is a parent to do when shopping on a budget?

  • First and foremost, talk with your children and let them know that you are shopping with limited funds.
  • Ask your children to make a list of the clothes they want, but let them know what is realistic and what is not.
  • Once the list of school clothes and supplies has been made, don't deviate from it. Keep it with you at all times and check off each purchase as it is made.
  • Look for the best sales. During this time of year, the newspapers will be full of department store ads and all one has to do is pay attention to what is being sold and the prices.
  • Check out swap malls and boulevard facing stores, fashion outlets, and online stores.
  • Look through catalogs for the latest children's fashions and look into layaway plans.
  • Look into value pak's and other types of multi-packaged deals in which many items are sold together for one low price.
  • If you don't have the money to buy everything your child wants before school starts, buy what you can right now and purchase other clothes later. There is nothing that says you have to buy everything before school actually starts.

When you shop for back to school fashion wear for your children, don't hesitate to ask friends and relatives for ideas on how to save money and where the best deals are.

When you go into a store, ask the salespeople if they have clothes that haven't been put on the racks yet. You may be able to purchase clothes that haven't been picked over if something is going to be put out for sale on a later date.

During tough economic times when everyone is talking about cutting costs and saving money, a strict back to school shopping budget may be a very good idea.

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