Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fall Shopping Tips

Back to school shopping can seem overwhelming. Don't let it become a chore! I have three simple tips to make this time of year rewarding and fun.

1) Figure out what you really need

I have a set number of jeans and pants I like for Sammy to have for each season. I know my own laundry habits and this keeps us stress free. I generally like to have seven pairs of pants and about ten shirts. I know going into each season that is generally what I need to purchase.

2) Back to School doesn't have to be one giant shopping trip. Personally I just cannot afford to buy ten shirts, seven pairs of pants, a jacket, a coat, and shoes on one trip and not be completely tapped out. I buy in stages and get things on sale as I go. When Sammy's 3T wardrobe was done- I started buying 4T. I try to get his jeans used from a consignment online boutique or on heavy markdown from Gap or Carters. Target clearance is a bi-weekly stop for me. When they start marking down a season I am over there checking it out.

Even if used isn't your favorite- some of the older size probably fit for a while. Just get a couple of new things and start working on the rest. Stick a long sleeved plain shirt under a shorter sleeved one when the weather gets cool. You know eventually you will have enough to get you there- just be creative and work within your budget. You don't have a deadline for back to school shopping.

3) Use online wish lists and shopping lists to your advantage. Or the shopping cart if you have to. Gap lets you save items for later once you've placed them in the shopping cart. Carters has a wish list. I will go through the site and put things I like on the wish list. I check back weekly/bi-weekly and see if the item has gone on sale or if I have a nice discount code. I am never going to spend full price but the wish list keeps me organized. I know what I'd like to get, but I know I can't get everything at once. This helps you with a budget in mind, and helps you make sure you really like the item. After seeing it a few weeks in a row- I know if I still like the item it will probably be a pretty good choice.

A few notes. I like to buy higher end kid items so that they hold up well so I can pass down or eventually resell. I know I could go to somewhere cheaper and get everything all at once, or a couple of trips. Buying Gap jeans or Boden jeans makes more sense to me. I can usually get those items discounted and they tend to be hand me down quality.

Full price for clothing is silly. Everywhere offers some sort of discount and you have to get in there and work your coupons. Make those dollars go farther.

Buy when things are on sale and when you can buy at a leisurely pace. Take notice when jeans are starting to get short. If you have a size up already in the closet waiting you aren't forced into taking the full price/lesser discount code price and you can decide what you would like to pay for essentials.

Hope this helps and happy shopping!

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