Back-to-school budget shopping

Back-to-School season is coming up, and it could make for expensive school shopping.

MADISON, Wis. — The back-to-school season is coming up, and it could make for expensive school shopping.

On average, families of children in elementary school to high school plan to spend around $848 dollars, according to the National Retail Federation.

Madison Moms blog says buy now before the big rush. Here are a few things they suggest you do right now when it comes to clothes shopping:

Consider searching garage sales and thrift stores for items.

Know what your child can and can’t wear to school, some clothing items may be off limits.

Understand return policies and save your receipts. keep in mind some items may be non-refundable or have restocking fees associated with them.

“There are several places like that right here in the community, where you can make money for the old clothes as long as they are gently worn and then you can get new ones for discounted prices as well,” said Alisa Sleep, Madison Moms Cofounder

If  your child is old enough for school dances, watch for formal dresses off season. The same goes for sporting equipment, winter coats, and even seasonal shoes, buy them during the opposite season and it will save you a ton.

Sleep also suggests shopping at dollar stores for inexpensive school supplies like writing utensils, notebooks, folders, and paper.

“Your child might already have a lot of these supplies from last year. You can definitely reuse supplies, there is nothing wrong with that. My kids came home with several folders and notebooks that had barely been used or used at all. I can now set those aside, we definitely plan to use them this year,” said Sleep.

Lastly, if your tight on cash the new child tax credit can help. that 250 to 300 a month can be a game changer for families on a budget to get items like food and clothing.