School Shop Without Breaking the Bank

School Shop Without Breaking the Bank

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Shelley Osterloh Reporting Retailers estimate Utah parents will spend about 410 dollars on their child's back to school shoes, clothes and supplies. It can be tough to buy what kids want without going over the budget, so Shelley Osterloh went out to talk find out how kids and parents are managing the most for their shopping dollar.

Kelsey, 17: "New shoes pants, lots of pants."

Teen Boy: "I like a lot of Quicksilver, stuff and Billabong, Volcrom."

Teen Boy: "Just trying to get good stuff to wear and look good."

But it isn't easy on a budget.

Dawn Roberts, Parent: "Well yea I usually give them a budget and tell them, ‘this is what you have to spend,’ but for some reason we always get here and shoes aren't 50 bucks any more they are a hundred."

To make the most of your back to school dollars, experts say you should start by making an inventory of what’s already in the closet, and don't buy any more than you really need.

Victoria Kearsley, Parent: "We went through both closets and had them try on everything from last winter, a lot of stuff went from her closet to my younger daughter’s closet."

Another tip: make a list, prioritize it, and the hard part, stick to it.

Parents may have more control over what their kids wear when they are younger, but as they age, parents say buying what they want may actually save money.

Dawn Roberts, parent: "But if I buy anything else he won't wear it, so you might as well spend it or it just hangs in the closet anyway."

And as teens get older many get jobs. Teaching them to save and to shop wisely is one way to learn better money management.

Mother: "If they have to earn it, I think they value it a little more."

Most families we spoke to say they save money by shopping the sales.

Teen Girl: "I'll always buy things on sale, if it’s not on sale I don't buy it."

Check the ads and look for special promotions that give added value. For example, at the SouthTowne Center, shoppers can show their receipts and 10% of every dollar spent, goes to the Jordan School District of their choice. Last year that added up to about 30-thousand dollars.

With planning and spending restraint, children will be ready for school, and looking good, without breaking the family budget. Other tips: don't blow your budget all at one time; save some for later mark-downs and what the kids say they need after they see everybody else; and check out the internet, there are lots of sites that compare prices or discount items.

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