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How to Save Money on School Uniforms

written by: Mary White•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 7/6/2011

Are you concerned with keeping your back to school budget under control? Find out how to save money on school uniforms and you'll be on your way to reducing the out of pocket expenses associated with getting your kids ready to return to the classroom!

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    Control School Uniform Expenses

    When back to school time rolls around, keeping expenses under control is an important consideration. For most families, purchasing new school uniforms is one the most significant back to school budget expenses. The good news is that it is possible to save money on school uniforms if you plan ahead and shop wisely.

    Planning ahead is a key to keeping school uniform expenses under control. If you put off getting school uniforms until the last minute, that's when the purchases you make are likely to take the biggest bite out of your back to school budget. It's much more likely that you'll be able to save money on school uniforms when you make plans ahead of time.

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    5 Tips for Saving Money on School Uniforms

    1. Trade With Other Families – Make a point of getting to know parents with children who are older or younger than yours and try to work out a used uniform purchase or trade arrangement. When kids are young, they often outgrow clothes before wearing them out, so trading with other parents is a viable way to reduce save money on school uniforms.

    2. Utilize Consignment Stores – Even if you don't have a personal relationship that allows you trade out school uniforms, you can enjoy similar benefits from a consignment shop. Turn in uniforms that don't fit your kids anymore so that other families can buy them and recoup some of your investment. When you're in the store, shop for bargains on secondhand uniform items that will fit your kids.

    3. Check Out Thrift Shops – Some families donate outgrown school uniforms to thrift shops operated by nonprofit organizations. Check out the available inventory immediately after school gets out for the summer and just before the beginning of the school year for the best selection.

    4. Coordinate Efforts – Instead of driving to every store in town to look for the best prices or settling for what you find at the first store, coordinate your shopping efforts with other parents who are also trying to keep back to school budget expenses under control. Utilize smart shopping teamwork by dividing up the stores in your area and spreading out. Keep in contact by text or cell phone to identify where the best deals are and shop accordingly.

    5. Shop Off Season Sales – Once the school year is up and going, stores will begin to run clearance specials on uniform items. Consider buying extra uniforms with next year in mind when sale prices start to appear. If your kids will still be in the same school next year, you know what kind of items you'll need. Purchase the right items a size or two larger than this year's uniforms, depending on the age of your kids and you'll have a head start on keeping next year's back to school budget under control.