Spend Less on Back-to-School Shopping

Whether you're a girl or a boy back to school does not just mean finding what classes to take and putting them in the right order, but finding what in the world you're supposed to wear for all those crazy adventures you're going to have this year, on a budget.

Yes, I'm sure you're aware that you all know what I'm talking about. That's right - it's back-to-school shopping time. The problem comes when you have to ask, what in the world do I buy? And how to I do it economically?

I'm currently pondering this question myself. For those of you who have ever gone back-to-school shopping (which I presume is most) you realize that this may in fact be your only opportunity to splurge on whatever you want. This is due to the fact that you're mother is willing to buy you just about anything because you "need" it and admit it to yourself, it's tempting to ask for everything because she may buy it. Granted, the issue becomes - how much money do you spend?

Now call me crazy, but for this I'm prepping a list of what to get in an attempt to avoid those ever so tempting sale signs in neon colors that are just begging me to look at that item of clothing I'll never wear. Yes, after my many years of back-to-school shopping I have finally realized that if I want to get something specific I need to search for it. So again, what do you buy? Do you go for the pants? The jackets? The shirts? What you need? What you want? What you feel like is in fashion? How do you get all of this without completely milking the cash cow?

It's problematic.
So what do you do to find the deals?
Let's go through five steps to finding the best.

Step #1: Clean Out, Keep it Simple, Get Set to GO!

The first step, empty your closet of anything that is unwearable. This is anything that doesn't fit you right anymore, or that doesn't fit with you anymore. Granted, you should keep this "getting rid of clothes" phase to a minimum, do not get rid of everything in your closet, just because you want new clothes. The idea here is to save money. If those pants still have a few good swing set jumps in them? Or, did your pants become floods because you grew a few inches?
Keep what you'll wear, get rid of the rest. And when I say get rid of, I mean send it to DI if it's still wearable, life is about helping others!After you do a bit of DI-ing and unload a few heaps of trash items, analyze what you still need.
Keep it simple, take a list of basics that you want and have a budget.
As every successful person knows you must have a plan to achieve the end result.

When going to the store, make sure your budget is something that works for both you and your parent. This doesn't mean you should share you list because, let's be honest, then they start picking items that they "think" fit your list and...sometimes that doesn't work out so well. It just leads to your parent buying you unwanted items that you ultimately won't wear anyways, aka a waste of money.

Here comes the hard part, you enter a store list in hand with a budget in mind -- where do you go first? Seriously, the sale section (it's usually in the back). The idea is to cross off everything on your list, if you can stay under budget your parental will love you.

Step #2: Navigating a store-start at the back, work your way forward.

Stores know that the first thing you're going to see is in the front (hence while it's called the front), they want you to see what is "NEW", "HOT", etc. because naturally, it's more expensive. The store wants you to spend more money. Therefore the more expensive items are at the front.

For those of you who are reading right now going, well I want those "NEW", "HOT", etc. items, that's fine. I'm not saying you can't, I'm just saying that your whole closet shouldn't be "NEW", "HOT" items every season. The key is to find the things you love.

So, you find yourself in the sale section, what still looks good? What looks good on you? What is going to be functional and goes with multiple things? The key to a wardrobe is to have several basic pieces that you can pair to make multiple outfits, styles, etc. For some stores, the sale section has what I've named the "it doesn't fit because" or the IDFBs. The thing is - is that an IDFB for one person, may not be an IDFB for another. The beautiful thing about you, is that you're unique. So no matter what body type you have just because it's an IDFB for them, doesn't mean it's an IDFB for you.

  Step #3: Buying -- check for the four F's (Find, Fit, Feel, Fabric) 

First, you find the item. If it looks good to you, then you've got the first step down. Next, try the thing on! How does it fit? Does it bunch? Does it pull? If so, don't buy it. Next question, how do you feel in it? Do you feel cute? Does it look nice? If so, it's good. How about the fabric? Can you stick that sucker in the washing machine? Is it gonna rip the next time you wear it? If you can feel good about the answers to the four F's it's probably a good piece to buy.

Step #4: If you have enough time, double check your answers, just like the ACT

Okay, before you go to the check-out line, double check what you got. Double check your answers to that list of yours. Is this really what you want? Could you find something better somewhere else? Can you actually see yourself wearing every single item you have in your hand/bag/cart/carrying device.
The most important question: If you leave the item here, will you think about it next week?
If yes, and if passes all the other tests, you should go ahead and get it.
[Tip: Check on a stores return policy, before you leave the store, just in case you do find something better]

Step #5: There IS Life After THAT Store

The thing about shopping, is that most times you have to go to more than one store. You're not going to find everything that you want for your budget at the same store.
So keep looking.
Don't buy anything you really don't love, won't wear or are just buying cause you might like it later. The truth is, you probably won't like that oversized t-shirt that makes you look like an elephant anymore in two weeks when you're rushing to get dressed in the morning. That's just how it goes.
So go on, find more stuff, keep to your list, stick to your budget and you'll be set.

Just a quick recap on what you should do to spend less on back-to-school shopping, summed up in five simple steps.

Step #1: Clean Out, Keep It Simple, Get Set to GO!
-Go through your closet get rid of what doesn't fit or feel right anymore
-Prepare your list of what you need
-Set a budget that works for you and your parental

Step #2: Navigating a store-start at the back, work your way forward.
-Find the sale items, cross off what you can from your list
-Remember the stores object is to make money

Step #3: Buying -- check for the four F's (Find, Fit, Feel, Fabric) 
-Find the items that look good to you
-Try on the itms and ask, does it fit right? Do I feel good in it?
-Test the fabric, will it wear out quickly?

Step #4: If you have enough time, double check your answers, just like the ACT
-Do you really want this item? Is it worth your money? Are you going to wear it and still want it two weeks when you're getting ready to go back to school?
Make sure you have want you'll wear and what you want.

Step #5: There IS Life After THAT Store
-If you don't find what you want at one store, keep looking, there is more out there

So, there you have it -- the five steps to spending less on back-to-school shopping.
Good luck and happy savings!

If this was helpful and you'd like to see more guide posts like this
Tell me what'd you like advice on or want a guide for. 

--But this is just another autobiography, examining the prosopography of me.
By: Emma Marie.