smart spending

6 tips for frugal back-to-school savings

Host a clothing swap
Host a clothing swap

Another way to achieve back-to-school savings is by holding a party to exchange kids' clothing. Decide who to invite based on the ages, sizes and gender of their children, says Leah Ingram, author of "Suddenly Frugal" and the blog SuddenlyFrugal.com.

If you have six friends who have children who are similar in age, you can hold a small party. But, you may want to expand it to 12 or 15 guests.

Ingram recommends leaving the children at home. That way, saving on back-to-school items can be a fun, social time for adults. "Even if 60 percent of what you take home doesn't fit, you're still getting the clothes for free," says Ingram.

Remind your guests that the clothing needs to be clean, stain-free and with no rips or tears. Ask yourself, "Is this something I'd buy at a resale store?" Ingram suggests you set a minimum number of items that each guest must bring with them, like 10.

"It's like currency. You bring in 10 pieces of clothing and you should be able to leave with 10 different items," Ingram says.

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