Saving on back to school clothes

August 13, 2009 3:40:17 PM PDT
Back to school means back to the store for most families, and they are looking for more than just pens and paper. They're also looking for new clothes, and they can cost a fortune. So we teamed up with some local parents to find the best deals on clothes that will last the whole year.

With two children attending Pearland schools, Cherish Bradshaw says the real secret to saving on school clothes is finding clothes that are affordable and that last.

"I need the shirts to last all year," she said.

In the past, she's been lured by low prices only to have the clothes fall apart.

"You just wash them a few times and they're just faded and worn and the collar is ripped," said Bradshaw.

Her first tip -- shop the online sales.

"I go to the Gap.com OldNavy.com and my favorite, which is RalphLauren.com," said Bradshaw.

The average American family spends $300 on back to school clothes, but we found if you're willing to make a few trips, you can get everything your kids need at a fraction of that price.

For in-store shopping, Bradshaw likes The Children's Place, Old Navy and Academy. She says they're great for Polo shirts and pants.

The Children's Place has 25 percent off uniforms right now. Polos are $9.50, and pants are 2 for $25. At Old Navy, she found jeans for under $20.

The Old Navy back to school sale has 1,000 items for $10 or less. Polo shirts are 2 for $15. For shorts and khakis, many parents swear by Academy. Pants we found there were $10 and shorts were $8.

"Their shorts are the best priced," said Academy shopper Cathy Demouy. "I was really happy with what they have."

Shoes are often the most expensive items your child needs. And if brand names are what your kids want, we found outlets have the best prices.

Through September 8, the Stride Rite outlet at Katy Mills is having a kids shoe sale. A pair of shoes we found there that normally sells for $46 is now only $15. And we found another pair that normally sells for $45 marked down to $20.

The Nike factory outlet also has big discounts on shoes that kids like.

"We come here for the good prices," said shopper Brandon Shumake, who is the father of four kids.

"It's a whole lot cheaper, too," added shopper Tyrone Johnson.

An $80 pair of shoes we found that normally sell for $60 dollars at the outlet store are now on sale for $45, so you save $35.

And remember -- during tax free weekend, all of these items are tax free. Tax free weekend is August 21, 22 and 23. Check out the full list of which items you'll save the tax on during tax free weekend.

There is also a great local exchange opportunity for school uniforms your kids can't wear anymore. You can trade them in for sizes that do fit, so you can get your kids' outfits for free and help another family save money.

Here's the info:

Free Uniform Exchange:
First Tuesday of the month, 430-8pm
Behind Pearland Jr. High West
2337 N. Galveston Road, Pearland
. www.pearlandpta.org

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