There is no doubt that many children get excited about back to school shopping.
However, the annual shopping trek to the local mall is something many parents dread due to the expense of time and money. Since buying children what they need for school can hit the family budget hard, 2 Works for You went to work to find you some ways to shop and save.
Kristy DeBoer, the mother of two and blogger of JustHappyMommy.com, took us shopping with her two boys, Roman and Perry. She says shopping is always on a parent's "to do" list with growing children since every inch taller means they need a new size and spending more money on clothes.
"They grow really, really fast... and it's not just a cliche," Kristy DeBoer said.
A bargain shopper, she searches out sales in major retail stores and good buys in resale shops, too. Her boys even enjoy the hunt for new clothes.
"They love to shop," Kristy added. "Just like their momma! The 3-year old is a 'threenager.' He likes to dress so it's something fun we can do."
Like many children, Roman and Perry know what they like when they see it and search out designer labels they know from television shows, movies, and video games. They went through rack after rack to find t-shirts, shorts and even gently used shoes. Kristy helps the boys mix and match their finds to make a complete outfit which helps diminish future battles over what to wear.
Visiting resale stores and hunting down bargains mean Kristy will pay less than half of the original retail price for her boys some new shirts shorts and a pair of gently used Nike shoes. April Worcester, owner of Cheeky Littles Resale boutique in south Tulsa, recommends that parents and grandparents check for signs of wear such as stains, missing buttons, and zippers that work properly. She says holiday outfits may be the best "steal" secondhand.
"Like for a 4th of July, if you were to buy a smocked outfit - new - it could be $80. Here we sell it for $16.99," said April Worcester who opened the shop two years ago with her mother. For even more savings, the entrepreneur, who is also a mother of two, recommends buying clothes that children will grow into.
"If you watch for sales and also out of season sales, and you know your child will be wearing a certain size that next season, you're especially going to get an extra good bargain," she added.
In this era of convenience, parents do not even need to leave home to shop and safe. There is a multitude of apps for smartphones and mobile devices to help families find gently used clothing such as The Honest Company, Mama-Thoughtful Shopping, Kidizen, etc. Facebook Marketplace, Craig's List are other online options. Garage sales can yield terrific buys along with the popular "Just Between Friends" sales held at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.
One more benefit of bargain shopping, Kristy says it gives her the opportunity to teach her boys the value of a dollar early in life.
"They have amazing brands that I know I already like. For example, the boys chose Nike and Under Armour and at a department store something brand new would be twice the price. It is in wonderful condition, the boys love it, and I know they'll look cute. So, it's a win-win for us."
Walking out of the store wearing his new outfit, the shopping venture complete, Roman shared the bonus of the day, "We really like being on tv!"
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