As summer seems to still be in full swing, our young kids head off back to school in the middle of summer. I remember as a youth, dressing for my first day back to school in fall attire. Times change and we find our youngsters back to class in early to mid August. In the Midwest, that usually means a range of 80 degrees to up to 100 degrees, with humidity that is unbearable. Clearly the standard long pants and new jacket just won’t cut it. That means buying some new shorts, skorts, capris and tanks to get through the first month or so. Basically two entire wardrobes depending on the weather. Many families struggle to buy one wardrobe alone.I heard on the news that the average family spends $500 per child on back to school clothes and shopping. Although, every mom would love to have a fun shopping spree with their kids and so would they! Instead try the fun challenge of being a frugal, savvy shopper by hitting the clearance racks throughout the summer for a few great buys. Then spend more or even full retail price on a few must have items of clothing so your child can stay fashion forward.You would be amazed at what you can find at your local second hand thrift shop, yard sales and even eBay. I bought a pair of black jeans for $3.00 on a clearance rack that I later teamed up with a very stylish plaid top. The top’s plaid material I hear is one of this season’s hottest fabrics. It came with a wide black belt. WOW! What a look for $15.00. Look for accessories that are part of the garment. Like the wide belt that was sold with the top, that way you can stretch your dollar farther.Keep a list in your purse of what you already have color, etc., so you can shop to complete a whole outfit and accessorize to match. I found a very cute fascia striped top. The detail of an asymmetric neckline made it a great buy for $2.00 at the local thrift shop. A couple of weeks later I found khaki capris and a necklace that made the whole outfit. A cool $11.00 for that look.The key is to buy what you need, keep an inventory with you. That way you won’t over spend. Buy the basics cheap, the things that never go out of style. Shop to complete an outfit. Look for accessories that are included with a garment. Get your kids involved. Teaching them to handle money is a valuable life skill that they will use over and over. It also has the added benefit of bringing you and your children closer and teaches them responsibility and values. They learn to be wise with their money. If you love to shop, spending time with your kids makes finding a great deal that much sweeter.

Advertisements