August 26, 2016

Back to School on a Budget Shopping List – Top 10 Essentials for Kids

Back to school is in full swing for most of the moms and kiddos out there.  School time can be overwhelming and so can school shopping.  I want to make it just a little easier by sharing the top 10 essential clothing items your kids will need and some tips on how to shop for them on a budget. 

1.  Matching sets.  This is the EASIEST way to get some back to school clothing for your kids.  Look for sets that are sold together, match each other or can be mixed and matched with other pieces.  They are usually a good deal as far as price goes, and they are so versatile because you can put together multiple outfits out of just a few pieces.
2.  Outerwear.  It may still be 96 degrees in Memphis, but fall and winter will be here before you know it.  And I don’t know about your school, but the ac was always cranked up at my school to keep us awake.  Look for some great staple jackets and coats that can match multiple outfits, are thick and well made and will keep your child warm. 
3.  Denim.  This one is a must! This will be part of their wardrobe most days, so you will want at least 4 pairs s they get them dirty, you’re waiting on laundry day, they stain them, and they tear holes in them.  Denim is one of those things I would not skimp on.  Find some good quality pairs that will last throughout the school year.  To make ours last longer, I’m not ashamed to say we buy a size up, roll up the cuffs and let her grow into them throughout the year.  = )
4.  Dress pants.  Occasionally there will be things that your child will need to dress up for, but sometimes you just don’t want them to wear a dress.  Maybe that’s too dressy, it’s too cold, or you know they will get it filthy on the playground.  A dressier pant is perfect for times like these.
5.  Blouses.  This will be the perfect compliment to those dress pants, jeans, skirts and everything in between.  For a kids blouse, I kind of go middle of the road as far as price goes.  It doesn’t have to be too pricey, but make sure the quality is good so the threading doesn’t come apart or it isn’t stiff or itchy for your child to be wearing it all day.
6.  Tees.  Another necessity just like denim.  These are great for everyday wear at school.  And they are perfect for the playground and after school too.  You will want to stock up on tees because they will make up a lot of their play wardrobe at this age.
7.  Dresses.  Perfect for those events that happen at school when your child needs to dress up. 
8.  Sweaters.  As it gets cooler, sweaters will be perfect for layering over your child’s outfit.  Perfect for recess and even for inside the classroom.  They’re great because they provide just enough warmth without being too bulky like jackets and coats.
9.  Leggings.  I live in leggings, and by default, so does Leighton in fall, winter and spring.  They are just so easy.  And they’re so comfy.  They’re even great to pair under shorter dresses when they’re playing on the playground.
10.  Shoes.  This will by far be one of the most used item on this list.  You will definitely want at least 3 different kinds of shoes.  Think dressy (for school pictures, programs, etc.), active and casual (and comfy!)  These from see kai run footwear are so versatile and they won’t break your budget.  Shoes are another category where you won’t want to skimp.  You will want some good quality leather shoes that are comfortable and will last all year.  You definitely don’t want them coming home from school saying their feet hurt because they rubbed blisters on them.
Now that you know the top 10 essentials you need for back to school for your child, check to see what your child already has.  This article has some great ideas for how to take inventory of what your child has and how to save on back to school shopping.  Next you will want to print off  these 2 free printable checklists for boys and girls. They will tell you exactly how many you need of each item for back to school clothes shopping.  They’re perfect to take with you on your shopping trip to make sure you get everything you need!
Now you want to save money while back to school shopping too, right?  My favorite ways are to check out coupon sites like Retailmenot.  You can find some great coupons that can be used in stores or online.  My other tip is to check out local consignment stores like Once Upon a Child or even local Facebook resale groups.  You can find some great deals there on some great play clothes.  And remember to buy in bulk when you can, especially when shopping online.  When you spot a sale, go ahead and stock up.  Most sites offer free shipping over a certain threshold like Diapers.  You get free 1-2 day shipping with orders over $49, so it’s usually worth it to go ahead and buy everything you need in 1 trip.  Plus you save money on gas by ordering online and not having to load all the kids up in the car.  Because there isn’t enough wine in the world for that.  = )

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