Tips to Save on School Uniforms

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by on July 18, 2013

save on school uniformsTips to Save on School Uniforms

If your kids wear uniforms to school, you know that they can be pricey, especially if you buy everything from the uniform shops. But you don’t have to break your budget on clothes, especially with these easy tips to help you save on school uniforms.

Tips to Save on School Uniforms

Shop Around
Find out what items, if any, need to be purchased from a specific uniform shop. Many times it is just the items that will have the patch, or logo, on the clothing that needs to be bought from the shop. Or you may find that you can buy shirts at other locations and then pay to have the patch added at the shop later. Either way, you can save on uniform basics since many retailers now offer uniforms in their back to school season.

Some of the retailers you can find uniforms from include:

Use Coupons and Cash Back Incentives
Many retailers offer coupons for their stores on a continual basis. Grab those coupons or coupon codes (look at for available codes) and use them to purchase the uniform basics you need. You’ll find that retailers put uniforms on sale often around back to school time, so make sure you use a coupon with a sale to maximize your savings. If you are shopping online, shop through Ebates to get cash back on your purchases, too.

Shop Second-Hand
Thrift stores and consignment stores are a great resource for polos, dress shirts, khakis or long pants. Look for second-hand stores near your child’s school for a greater chance of getting the exact items you need on your back to school shopping list. Don’t forget about shopping online. eBay is also a good online resource for gently used clothes, shoes or other accessories.

Check With Your Child’s School
Many schools offer uniform exchange policy. You can take your child’s gently used uniforms to the school exchange and then either get a discount or just swap out items for a different size. Each school will probably be a little different, but other parents will want to save just like you, so this is a great way to do so. Just talk to the school’s front office or the PTA to see if this policy is already in place, and if not, ask about starting one!

Choose Darker Colors
Buying items that will last is important since you don’t want to have to keep buying new uniform pieces throughout the entire season. If your school has a choose between light and dark colors, choose the darker color because stains or markings show up much easier on the lighter colors. I made the mistake of buying my 1st grader a white shirt, and unfortunately, it didn’t last more than one month before it became too stained. Also look for fabrics that are thicker and stain-resistant to try to keep them lasting longer.

Think Long-Term
If you find a smoking hot deal on pants in the summer, grab it and make sure you get enough for the entire school year. You can also look for shorts and pants that have an adjustable waste line so that they will last longer. Buy pants bigger, adjust the waste and then hem the bottom (don’t cut off any fabric). As your child grows, you can let out the hem rather than buy new pants. The same is true for skirts on girls. For shirts, I tend to buy short-sleeved a size bigger to make them last. The shirt is tucked in, so you can’t see that it is a little longer.

Wash With Care
The rule in our house is for my son to take off his uniform once he is home. He gets to put on everyday clothes, and it helps lessen the amount of time that the uniform will get stained. When washing, turn the shirts inside out  and wash all the uniform separates on delicate to try to help the fabric last longer.  I also try to wash in only cold-water to help the colors from fading. (Use white vinegar to help clothes stay clean and brighter, plus it is a natural wrinkle-releaser).

Don’t Just Shop in the Fall
Although there may be great back to school deals in the Fall, you may also find discounts throughout the year, especially during off seasons. You may be able to find sweaters or long pants during the summer or shorts during the winter. Remember to shop around year round because you never know when you find a deal!

I hope these tips will help you save as you are buying school uniforms this year and for year’s to come.

Do you have a child in school uniforms? How else do you try to save when you are back to school shopping?


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  • Stacie

    My kids school’s don’t have school uniforms. I don’t think there’s any schools that have them where we live. I’ve only seen schools that use them on the movies. Then again, I live in a very small community LOL!

  • Danielle S.

    We won’t need school uniforms until next September but our school has a great hand-me-down program where younger kids will have the opportunity to “shop” for used uniforms from the class before them.

  • Jennifer Soltys

    Wow, I didn’t know there were so many options regarding uniforms. I don’t need them, but great to know if I ever should!

  • Whitehead’s Zoo

    Thanks for the tips. We don’t have uniforms now but could have used these when we did.

  • Jennifer Wagner

    Great tips. When I am looking to buy anything, the first place I check is amazon.

  • Melissa Hurst

    That is awesome, Danielle! I bet that is extremely helpful.

  • Melissa Hurst

    LOL :) I think they are becoming more and more popular – not just in private schools and charter schools, but even some of the public schools here in AZ are now using uniforms or certain standard dress codes stating what can or cannot be worn. I do think it is a good thing – but it can limit what kinds of deals parents can get. Hopefully this post can help!

  • Melissa Hurst

    Definitely! Thanks Jennifer!

  • Melissa Hurst

    You are very welcome!

  • Melissa Hurst

    I do the same thing, Jennifer – it is a great starting point :)

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