For students, back-to-school shopping is one of the highlights of the year. But, with parents really suffering from the frightening cost of gas and food and tighter credit, you might have to find more back-to-school deals than in past years. Don't despair. If you shop smart, you can get many of the things you've been swooning over.
Before beginning your treasure hunt for back-to-school deals, do the math. Find out what your family can afford and then make out a basic shopping list. Look it over and order your list according to what you absolutely MUST have right now.
Study your favorite magazines and Web sites to learn the hottest trends. They'll help you to replicate the looks of teenage TV stars with a few basic cheap and chic pieces found at reasonably-priced retail stores.
Don't give into peer pressure. If you shop with a friend whose budget is much more generous than yours, you'll only get frustrated. Buy only the clothes that you feel comfortable in and will make getting dressed fun.
Investigate other shopping options. The mall is familiar and has what you need, but there are flea markets, discount stores, even yard sales, where your creativity and keen eye might net you back-to-school deals. Your local resale shop might have cool name brand clothes at a deep discount that you might accessorize with this season's huge earrings to make a unique fashion statement.
Do an inventory of the school supplies you already have. Calculators, folders and binders, backpacks and lunch boxes might live on for another year, giving you more money to spend on clothes. You'll be surprised, getting rid of redundant spending can save some serious cash. Check out the paper for each store's weekly back-to-school deals. Purchase each store's best sale and move on to the next store. Don't forget your local dollar store for some basic supplies. And the Sunday newspaper for coupons.
It's not necessary to buy a year's worth of clothes in one day. The weather (and styles) are bound to change. Advertising tends to make you think you need that winter coat now...but there's plenty of time to purchase that item. A few new trendy articles of clothing are all you need at the outset of the school year.
Consider a part-time job at your favorite clothing store. You'll get valuable work experience, receive a discount and back to school deals on the stuff you really love, and maybe earn enough for those to-die-for boots.
Find out when the next tax-free holiday is and wait to buy shoes and handbags then.
Don't buy on impulse. Do some research first. And save your receipts until you've tried everything on and your mom agrees everything fits properly.