How to Save Money On School Uniforms
More and more schools are opting to require school uniforms. I am not sure if this is good or bad, but I know it can be expensive; especially if you have several children. School uniforms typically consist of dress pants (navy or khaki), dress shirts in a variety of basic colors, belt and dress shoes for boys, and a skirt, dress shirt, sweater, socks and dress shoes for girls. Fortunately there are plenty of ways you can save money on school uniforms.
- Think long term. Of course you want the uniform to last throughout the school year, but also think about it lasting a couple of years. With the advent of adjustable waist pants you should be able to get pants that could last two year. Buy them big, tighten the buttons on the sides and hem the pants (don't cut any material off) and the pants can be worn that way until the child grows. You can let out the hem and the waist band as needed. For the girls, skirts can also be hemmed to accommodate a couple of years. I have found short sleeve shirts can be bought big and worn longer better than long sleeve shirts.
- Buy used. Check consignment stores frequently for clothing that could work as part of the uniform as well as scouring garage sales. If your school doesn't already have a uniform resale night then you could organize one yourself. Everyone can bring their outgrown uniforms and swap or sell them. Also accept all hand me downs.
- Think about the color. Light colored pants are going to stain. These uniforms are going to be worn day in and day out for nine months out of the year. Buy dark blue or black if you can and stains won't be as much of an issue. If you can get dark shirts, go for it, but if your options are light colors or white, I would recommend opting for white. White can be bleached.
- Buy the bare minimum. Buy only two or three of each item and plan on doing laundry. I know it could be a pain having to plan your laundry days around what your child needs to wear to school, but it could save you a lot of money.
- Shop the sales. Because school uniforms have become more popular, more and more stores are stocking items that meet this need. This means they will be competing for your business by running sales, especially towards the start of school. Take advantage of these sales, rather than paying full price later. Another thing to do is check the clearance racks in September or October. Once the mad rush of school uniform shopping is over stores may be left with a lot of leftover pieces. Rather than letting them take up space in the store or in the back room they will mark these down to hopefully sell quickly. Take advantage of this to buy ahead for when your child grows.