I'm so proud that my frugality enables my son attends a great little private school, Thomas Jefferson Preparatory. First graders and up are required to wear uniforms purchased from a uniform supply store. When I began looking into the cost of his uniforms, I came up with an idea that would help fellow parents save money while also helping the school: The Uniform Recycling Program.
At the end of last term, I sent a message to the parents asking that they bring in their children's uniforms that no longer fit and drop them off in a big Uniform Recycle box I'd placed at the entrance to the school. Over the summer, I washed the uniforms a couple of times in an Oxyclean cycle and then pressed, hung and labeled them individually for size. It sounds like a daunting task, but it only took me a few hours total to get this done. I was pleased to see that many of the uniforms came out looking quite good!
Before the school year began, I sent another message to the parents saying that "extra" school uniforms would be available for purchase at Back To School Night for the price of 2 for $5.00, with all proceeds going to the school. Fearing that many parents would shy away from buying used uniforms for their kids, I stressed that this extra uniform they purchased could be a great "backup" to keep at school in case their child gets wet, dirty or sick while at school. "Why pay so much money for a brand new uniform just to keep it in your child's cubby?" This logic worked and uniforms sold!
Uniforms that were not purchased during Back To School Night were kept at the school for future sales and for those "oops" moments when a child might need a clean pair of pants or shirt. I plan on continuing this program as I believe that it is a great lesson in frugality and practicality to teach our kids.
The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:
Four TJP School Uniforms (Tops and Bottoms, 2 for $5.00)
Total Fake-It Cost: $20.00, donated to the school
Compare to New LL Bean School Uniforms ($16.50 per Top, $24.50 per Bottom = $164.00)
Total Fake-It Savings: $144.00
I'm sure there are other School Uniform Recycling Programs out there! I'd love to hear your creative ideas on how else to save on uniforms - please leave a comment and share!
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