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Cheap or Free School Uniforms

By Edited Apr 2, 2016 3 6

How to Save Money on School Uniforms

Why Have School Uniforms?

Back-to-school shopping for school clothes can be a major expense in the fall. School uniforms are one way to reduce the costs!

School uniforms are becoming increasingly popular in both public and private schools around the country. Schools love them because it reduces the hassle over students who have come to school dressed inappropriately Parents love them because uniforms simplify both back-to-school shopping and getting students dressed in the morning. Uniforms also seem to be less expensive to buy when school starts in the fall, because you don't need to buy such a variety of clothing. Kids are less likely to demand expensive designer clothing to impress their peers. However, for some families, purchasing any new clothing in the fall can still put stress on the family budget. Sometimes parents believe that the uniforms can only be purchased from special uniform shops or uniform catalogues. To combat this, many schools have switched to a simple uniform of khaki, navy or black pants and skirts, with polo shirts in a limited range of colors. These items can be purchased in nearly any children's store or department store. However, are there ways you can buy these clothing items even more cheaply … or perhaps get them for free?

Students Taking an Exam

Where to Find Cheaper School Uniforms

If you live in an area where uniforms are common, Target, Walmart and similar discount retailers often have back-to-school sales, during which they sell the correct style of pants, skirts and polo shirts for under $10 to $15, far less than you would pay at a traditional department store. If you can't find what you are looking for in your neighborhood stores, then the websites for these retailers will usually have whatever color, style or size you need.

You can also use this direct Amazon link to uniform pieces.  They sell many items, in a variety of colors, for $5 to $15.  It is easy to simply order the pieces that you need and you don't even have to leave home!

Find the Cheapest Prices for Uniforms

It's not always necessary to pay retail, however, even at a store like Target or Walmart. In nearly any community where there are schools that require uniforms, you will find thrift stores that sell gently worn uniform pieces. Depending on the condition of the items, you may pay anywhere from .50 cents to $2.00 for many of these pieces. Remember that once your children have worn their new clothing, those items also be "gently worn" within a couple of weeks. Sometimes thrift stores have uniform pieces that are in extremely good condition … the original owner simply outgrew them!  

When our daughters went to a private school, we only purchased them one new uniform a year.  The rest of the time they wore ones that we were able to get pre-owned.  We saved the new uniform for those occasions when they wanted to look especially good at school, such as when they were going to be doing a classroom presentation.  The rest of the time they wore the used ones.  Then, if they got paint on their outfit in art class, or tore their pants on the playground, it was not a big deal.

How to Get Free Uniforms

Many schools, even exclusive private schools, now sponsor uniform exchanges in the fall. At these exchanges, students can bring in clothing items that they have out-grown and exchange them for items someone else has donated. These uniform exchanges can be a fun and easy way to supplement your back-to-school wardrobe for free, and can be a life saver for families on a tight budget. It enables everyone to dress their children in the appropriate uniform, without having to spend anything. If your school does not currently have such an exchange, this can be a great project for the PTA.

There are many advantages to wearing uniforms. Being able to find the necessary clothing items cheaply makes it easy for everyone to afford to start the school year out looking great!

For more tips on having fun with your family and helping your kids have a good school year, try reading the articles listed below:

Fun Games for Kids: Cheap

Help Your Kids Have a Great School Year

Food Safety Tips for School Lunches

Summer Activities to do with Your Kids

Halloween Safety Tips for Kids

Safe Use of Face Paint on Halloween

Affordable Uniform Shirt in a Variety of Sizes - From Amazon

French Toast - Big Girls' School Uniforms Short Sleeve Stretch Pique Polo, White 33005-8
Amazon Price: $7.99 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 2, 2016)
If you want to easily and affordably buy your uniform pieces from Amazon, click on the blue link above to see everything they have available.


Sep 29, 2010 2:22pm
thnaks for this useful info good points for saving
Sep 29, 2010 3:59pm
This is a great article and very helpful for families on a budget!
Oct 5, 2010 10:09pm
Hi Deborah,

I always felt uniforms should be the dress code whether it be private or public school. I don't understand why it's not mandatory. I feel children should not have to feel as if they should compete and also feel the children would be more focused on more important topics.
Oct 6, 2010 9:05pm
I agree. Two of our daughters wore uniforms at their school, and two did not. I saved a lot of money with uniforms. Our daughters loved them, too. Hopefully, more schools will decide to have their students wear school uniforms!
Jun 18, 2011 8:01am
Uniform shopping is something I didn't get the chance to do, sadly. It makes such a difference in time in the morning. Terrific info on school uniform retailers and uniform exchanges, nicely done.
Oct 19, 2014 3:58pm
School uniforms make like so much easier for both children and parents. These tips will make it even easier.
Oct 19, 2014 3:58pm
This comment has been deleted.
Oct 19, 2014 3:58pm
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