Five Frugal Tips for Back-to-School Shopping for Boys

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It feels like summer just started, but in reality, the new school year is here and it’s time to go back-to-school shopping for the kids. If you’re the frugal parent of a boy (or several), shopping may seem like a drag, but the following tips can help you save money while revamping your son’s desk and wardrobe for the new academic year.

These same tips can be applied to shopping for girls. Or see all our other posts for back to school

Back to School Shopping Boys

New Clothes

Fall clothes have been in stores all summer, but August is one of the peak months to buy clothes for cooler weather, so tread carefully if you don’t want to end up overspending on clothes. Affordable retailers such as Target and Walmart are great places to start, but if your son is at that stage where he’s becoming more fashion-conscientious, then you can find a more diverse assortment of affordable clothes for sale at Old Navy, H & M, Kohl’s, or online at Amazon.com. Unless your son’s school requires uniforms or he grew quite a bit over the summer, you likely won’t have bought several new outfits but rather a new pair of pants or two, a new jacket, new boxers/briefs, and a multipack of socks should be enough to get him through autumn, along with clothes from last year.

Secondhand Clothes

Cost-conscientious families should look into secondhand clothes, which may not even show signs of wear but still cost considerably less than brand new clothes. Jane’s boy section lists thousands of different items of clothing at huge discounts compared to their retail values. Your local Goodwill or Salvation Army stores may also have boys’ clothing offered for very low prices. By buying secondhand clothes, not only will you have more money left over for other school supplies (and future school-related expenses, such as lunches), but you’ll also teach your kids a valuable lesson in frugality because why buy a single brand new, brand name t-shirt at this price, when you can get ten t-shirts for the same price from a secondhand store or online?

boys clothes


Shoes are somewhat trickier because boys nearing or in the midst of puberty may grow out of their shoes very quickly, which makes an investment into quality shoes seem pointless because they won’t have them long enough to test the shoes’ longevity anyway. However, secondhand shoes are generally something you want to avoid, so either check out Amazon’s shoe section or shop for boys’ shoes at Payless, Target, or Walmart.


Backpacks (for brand name and/or high-quality ones), but there are still plenty of ways to save. First off, if your son still has his backpack from last year and it functions just fine then consider putting off a new backpack purchase until next year. If he needs a new one, then online stores are almost always cheaper than brick and mortar stores (again, Amazon is a great place to start) but you might be able to find coupons from local newspaper ads or other sources discounts on backpacks.


School Supplies

Last but not least: school supplies. Pens, pencils, erasers, paper, binders, highlighters, notebooks…expect to spend money on new school supplies for the new academic year, if not more, depending on how many and what kind of classes your son is taking. Like many other items on this list, Target and Walmart are the best places to find affordable school supplies. But, if quantity is preferred over quality then check out the nearest Dollar Store for supplies.

What are some other tips that you can add to saving for back to school?

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