Back to School Shopping Hacks

Back to School Shopping Hacks

by Susan Neuhalfen

Back to school shopping, especially for multiple kids, can be taxing on your patience as well as your budget. While we can’t do much about your patience, we can certainly help your budget. Here are some school clothes shopping hacks to help you weather the next couple of weeks:

Clean out the closets – Start by cleaning out closets. Figure out what fits and what doesn’t so you’re not buying doubles. Then bag up the goods (providing they’re still wearable) and a have a party with some other moms. Put out tables for the clothing with sizes listed and let everyone exchange away. Designate one person to take the remainder of the clothes to the donation center.

If the clothes are no longer wearable, take them to Recycle2Support. They can be recycled to make clothing and other goods for those in need.

Price match – For clothing, you will find that many places price match. Walmart and Target price match everything so underwear, socks and the basics are covered. What you might not know is that stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, J Crew, and Kohl’s also price match. Just make sure you have read and understand their policies before you go shopping.

Hit the thrift store – Many kids grow out of their clothes before they wear out. Plato’s Closet, Thrift Giant, Kid to Kid and many others offer great quality clothing at a discount. There are plenty of online garage sales (Facebook, eBay,, and more) as well.

Save the 8.25% – The next tax-free holiday in Texas is August 11-13 where retailers offer clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced less than $100 without sales tax (8.25%). Crowds can get a little crazy so this includes items purchased online, by phone and by mail. Layaway plans are allowed if needed.

Check the website – Before you go anywhere you should always check the website of the store to see if there is an online coupon. Nine times out of ten, there is. There are also lots of other online coupons and apps.,, are the three most recommended. is the one that most of the retailers interviewed highly recommended. It’s also a phone app so you can just show your coupon on your mobile device when you’re ready to check out.

Malls including the Golden Triangle Mall have savings through using their Wi-Fi when you go to the mall. Also, more savings can be found at

Gather old gift cards – Right now, take 15 minutes to go through your drawers, your purse, your leftover gift bags, and everyplace else you can think to look for new or partially used gift cards. Gift cards, once used, usually have an expiration date so you want to take advantage of them. Put them all in one place, either in your purse or in the car so you don’t forget them.

Gift cards at a reduced price – Places like Sam’s and Staples as well as sites like and Amazon allow you to purchase gift cards at a reduced price, allowing you to save a little bit of money.

Buy one get one free – When you find something that your child likes such as shoes, and there is a BOGO offer, buy the next size or ½ size up so you’re not having to search around halfway through the school year for a new pair of shoes. Kids can be picky and they can also have trouble letting go of something they like, such as a t-shirt or favorite pair of jeans. If you can get a BOGO, get the next size up so you’re covere

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