back to school sales in july.

It has recently come to my attention that July is the time to be back-to-school shopping for your kids.  Sure you’re still soaking up the sun at the pool, giving yourself somewhat inappropriate pastel manicures, and reading trashy magazines as fast as you can *AHEM* but don’t kid yourself, school is just around the corner.  And friends, the sales are bananas right now, bananas.

Stores are clearing out summer merchandise as fast as they can to make room for all the back-to-school promotions, and clothes are ripe for picking.  Let me show you what I bought for the kids to wear back-to-school in the last two weeks alone:

girl's dress shoes

Black bow tie *faux* patent leather dress shoes for Precocious at Payless Shoes.  Normally $24, on sale for $7.

She wears a women’s size 7 1/2, {shut the front door!} so I have to grab the sales while I can.  Women’s shoes are a little, uh, cost prohibitive for a 10-year-old.

skater shoes

Little skater shoes for my brand spanking new Kindergarten boy.  Charming is rapidly approaching man sizes, but for now we’re safe.  I picked these babies up at Kmart for $8.  Normally they’re $25.

high tops

Precocious has been dying for a pair of high tops.  Dying.  These graffiti high tops were normally $25, on sale for $9 at Payless.

Snap.  I kind of want a pair, but I think it would put me in the un-cool mom zone if I wore matching high tops with my daughter.

My best steal so far though, is the zip top sweater I found for Charming at Old Navy two weeks ago:

red sweater

Do you see what I see?

kids holiday sweater

0.97 cents my friends, and not a darn thing wrong with it.  This cute little red sweater has Charming’s name all over it, and while it was originally $25 it managed to get marked down again and again until I got my grubby little paws on it for less than the cost of a Diet Dr. Pepper re-fill.

I’m quickly filling up the closets one discounted, sale priced deal at a time and I. love. it.

Something else to consider, a tip of mine as a thrift store maven, right about now thrift stores start filling up with everyone’s last season castoffs.  Moms start to clean out kids closets before going back-to-school shopping and you?  You swoop in for the discounted kill.

When do you go back-to-school shopping?  Do you make a tradition out of it or are you like me, picking off spring and summer clearance items one at a time until you have a whole wardrobe?

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. kim @ mommyknows :

    I’m going to Payless! Great deals.

    • Petit Elefant :

      I know! I might have to go back and stock up on some shoes for myself!

  2. kim @ mommyknows :

    P.S. — I love the new look of the site.

    • Petit Elefant :

      Thank you, so do I!

      But thank you, really.

  3. Marianne Firth :

    I adore this. I wish everyone would post pictures of their deals along with the price tags. It’s my favorite part of shopping- the show and tell. My favorite thing I found at Old Navy was a fabric covered box marked down to 7¢. That’s seven pennies folks.

    • Petit Elefant :

      Maybe it’s something I need to do more often, it’s my favorite part of shopping too! Especially when it’s such a great deal.

      Seven pennies, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

  4. nella paper studio :

    great post. I can’t believe it’s time for it either! But you are so right..I went into Target yesterday and had to contain my excitement when I saw all of the new supplies! I must join in on the rush and add a sale to my shop as well, perhaps? :)

    • Petit Elefant :


      It always seems to early to me too, but it’s never too early for Summer clearance sales for me! :)

  5. Laura Ferry-Jimenez :

    ughh – is this what I’m supposed to be doing? we moved to the Dallas area a month ago and my daughter will now be at a public school. what are the chances I can get the school board to pass a mandatory uniform rule? I have five weeks! haha.

    I found a brand new pair of Gap sandals for $1.50 at a kids consignment shop and a few other ridiculously priced casual dresses. I’m going to try to only buy thrift or consignment this year since I’ve been so impressed with what is being offered. :)

    • Allison :


      I grew up wearing a uniform and hated it at the time, but now I wish my kids were in uniforms. It makes life so much easier. And less expensive!

  6. MainlineMom :

    Hi! I remember you from Mom 2.0 but for some odd reason I have never visited your blog! And now I find I LOVE it! :) I am a frugal fashionista myself, and I love shop and tell :) $.97 for a sweater, LOVE IT. Well I have been sucked into the Gymboree marketing cycle for my Kindergarten boy and now I am DONE back to school shopping with my recent redemption of $150 Gymbucks. (Yeah right, no way I can keep myself from buying him anything else for a year.) If I had a girl, I’d be in serious trouble.

    • Allison :

      Well I’m glad you stopped in to say hello! I’m a bit of a thrifter, saver, sale shopper. And Gymboree is dangerous whether your have a girl or a boy. Trouble.