7 Tips to Help You Save on School Uniforms
If your kids wear uniforms to school like mine, you know all the costs can add up. However, over the past few years I’ve learned a few tricks to help save on the cost of school uniforms. Whether your kids have been in uniforms for years, or you are new to shopping for them, these tips should help you save on some of your back to school expenses.
1. Only Buy What You Need. The uniform shop probably has a lot of accessories (especially for girls), but stick to only those items that your child absolutely needs. Find out what the school’s policy is on hair bows, belts, jackets, socks, etc, because you can probably find cheaper items at other stores. For example, my son’s school allows any plain jacket while outside, so I save a nice chunk of change by purchasing a jacket on sale from retail store, rather than from the uniform shop.
2. Shop Outside the Uniform Shop. What items have to be purchased from the uniform shop? Maybe only a few or none at all! Buy what you need to there, and for everything else, shop around for the best deal. Some of the retailers that offer school uniforms include:
- Children’s Place
- JC Penney
- Lands End
- Old Navy
- OshKosh B’Gosh
3. Use Coupons and Coupon Codes. Since you are shopping around at different stores, take advantage of using store sales and coupons when you purchase uniform basics. For example, Old Navy releases coupons on their Facebook page regularly, so you can use that to help you save! Shopping online can also save you time and since many stores offer free shipping, it makes it even easier. Check out Valpak.com for coupon codes that you can use on all your back to school needs.
4. Think Long-Term. You want the uniform basics to last all year, and possibly two for some items (sweaters, etc), so think ahead on sizing. Kids grow fast and you don’t want to have to buy new clothes by the spring semester, so buy clothes a tad larger and hem them to fit. This works well with pants or skirts. You can also cut off and hem pants to make shorts (many pants have adjustable waist sizes, so this works great!) I’ve also found that polo shirts work fine a size bigger since the shirt is tucked in anyhow.
5. Stay with Darks. If your school has two color choices, always choose the darker color because it won’t stain as easily or show any other marks. This is especially true with younger children. Take it from me, a white shirt won’t last long on a first grader (yes, I learned the hard way!).
6. Look for Quality. We all want to save on our school spending, but buying low quality items that will wear out quickly will only cost you more in the end. You can expect that your kids are going to play tough in these clothes, but you want them to last. Some things to look for include reinforced knees, thicker fabrics, and stain-resistance.
7. Take Care. To help keep uniforms lasting longer, make sure kids change out of them as soon as they get home from school. The less they wear them, the less likely they will be worn out or stained. You can also check with the school on the policy regarding PE to see if it is possible to have your child change before heading out to the field and getting a grass stain! When washing, turn the garment inside out to protect any emblems and wash in cold to help prevent fading. Try using white vinegar in your load to help clothes stay clean and brighter naturally (plus, it is a wrinkle-releaser!).
I hope these tips help you save this back to school season!