FFTC’s Guide to School Clothes Shopping on a Budget

School clothes shopping sends shivers up my spine. I just spent over $100 buying school supplies for my kids.  And we didn’t even get everything on the list. Who knew that notebooks and crayons could add up so quickly.  Our cart was full, but it wasn’t overflowing.

With the school supplies purchased and ready to go, it’s time to consider school clothes shopping. After spending so much on folders and pencils, we really gotta be careful and stick to our budget. There are some great alternatives to the mall, department stores or even Target that can help you keep the prices down.

clothesReSale Retail for School Clothes 


I worked for a Resale Retail Children’s clothing shop when I was in college. Ironically, it was the one and only time I was robbed at gunpoint. Interesting to say the least. That was 20 years ago and I think they caught the guy. You have nothing to worry about while you do your shopping.

If thrift stores are intimidating, resale shops are a great place to start.

Here are some options in the metro.

Once Upon a Child • Various Locations throughout the Metro
With racks upon racks of clothes, as well as a bazillion locations throughout the metro, you will have a big selection to choose from.

Kids Rack • 11350 Aquila Dr. N, Champlin
The shop just moved to behind Dairy Queen in Champlin.  They have my favorite selection of shoes.  I got my sons’ soccer cleats here!

Kids Carousel • 1975 1/2 Silver Bell Rd, EaganI don’t know anything about this shop.  Can anyone let us know about it?

Children’s Orchard • 12953 Ridgedale Dr, Minnetonka
Carrying many different brands, you will be able to find quality including eddie bauer, hanna anderson, janie and jack and so many more

All4Kids • 609 Locust St, Monticello
If you live in or near Monticello, make sure you make time to visit. Check out their facebook page for new arrivals.


Thrift Stores for School Clothes 

The best way to utilize thrift stores is to return frequently. Sometimes its hard to get the simple basics, but they are a blast for unexpected gems. Shopping at thrift stores has been the best way for our family to get ready for the year.

Salvation Army
Big stores usually have a better selection of adult clothing versus kids’, but you never know what you can find.

Most likely, you have heard or been to Goodwill. They are a hot spot for Halloween costumes and are the most well-known thrift stores in the Twin Cities.

Savers and Unique Thrift Stores
I love the kids’ selection at Unique and Savers.

Arc’s Value Village
You find a different selection of children’s clothes at each store, but like I have said before, inventory is always changing.

clothesMultiple Family to Family Sales

These sales are like a clean and indoor gigantic garage sale. Get it done all in one place.

Munchkin Markets • Various Locations at various times and dates • Read website page for location you are interested in to get all the details about times of sales and admission fee. 2018 dates and locations include:

  • 9/8-9 Washington County Fairgrounds
  • 9/22-23 MN State Fairgrounds
  • 10/27-28 Blaine Sports Center

Just Between Friends Sale • Various Locations at various times and dates • Admission fee usually charged.  Make sure you check the website for all the shopping details. Here are some upcoming 2018 dates:

  • 8/2-5  Apple Valley Sports Arena, Eagan
  • 8/8-12 Riverdale Village (in the former Sears), Coon Rapids
  • 9/6-9 YMCA Community Center, Andover/Blaine
  • 9/13-15 Southdale Center, Edina
  • 9/20-23 Starlite Center, Maple Grove
  • 9/27-29 HealthEast Sports Center, Woodbury
  • 10/4-7 Vadnais Sports Center, Vadnais Heights
  • 10/12-14 Champions Hall, Eden Prairie

How do you keep your back-to-school costs reasonable?

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