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9 Best Bets for Back to School Bargains

I’m a bit of a slacker when it comes to buying fall clothes for my kiddos. I prefer to wait until it’s actually fall–hard to get in the sweater-buying mood when it’s 95 degrees out! But with so many retailers offering deals right now, it’s tempting to buy ALL THE THINGS. So, I set out to buy my crew at least a few pairs of jeans, hoodies, and new sneakers to help them start this year in style. 

I found some amazing deals, and I’ll let you in on my secrets! Here are 9 great places to stretch your back to school dollar:


1. Crazy 8

The sister company of Gymboree, Crazy 8 is a lower-priced (but still GREAT quality) childrens’ clothing store for infants through size 14. Each season, the designs are meant to mix and match with the past season as well as Gymboree’s current line, so it makes for effortless outfits. It’s my go-to store for my 6 year old son–their jeans, tees, and undies are practically the only ones that stand up to the wear and tear. They also carry school uniforms. Sign up for their email to receive 20% off in-store, or 20% off + free shipping online. Stores located in Westminster, Centennial, Aurora, Loveland, Lakewood, Colorado Springs, and Ft. Collins. 

2. Plato’s Closet

A consignment store focused on teens, Plato’s is a god-send for my two middle school daughters! It’s our favorite place to shop for denim–all the top brands like Abercrombie, American Eagle, Miss Me, Levi’s, and more. Current styles, trendy colors and patterns abound, but at half the cost (or less!) of what they retail for new. Coats, sweaters, and dresses are usually a good buy, too. If you’ve got a high school kid, check them out for homecoming dresses! And, kids can sell their pre-loved clothing back to Plato’s for cash or store credit. Their website includes a fun style blog focused on the teen and young adult set.  Stores located in Westminster, Lakewood, Boulder, and Cherry Creek. 

3. TJ Maxx & Marshall’s

Sister stores under the TJX Brands parent company, both stores carry one-offs, overstocks, and past-season items from top retail and designer brands. TJ Maxx tends to carry a slightly more upscale selection, and they carry children’s clothing but not children’s shoes. The HomeGoods store (adjacent to select TJ Maxx stores) is a great place to find stylish dorm furnishings for the college set. Marshall’s has an impressive kids’ and junior’s selection, as well as shoes for all ages. It’s our go-to for backpacks, lunch containers, winter coats, and trendy tops. Both stores re-stock and take markdowns weekly, so the selection changes often. Many stores located throughout the front range. 

4. Big 5 Sporting Goods

Sneakers and snow boots are the big draw at Big 5. Their sales feature different doorbusters each week, and it’s not uncommon to find name brand shoes for $19.99 or less. And, if your kids are playing fall sports, this is the place for cleats, pads, mouthguards, practice apparel, and equipment. Sign up for their e-team for a printable 10% off in-store coupon and frequent special offers. Stores located throughout the metro area. 

5. H&M

THE place for up-to-the-minute trends. And at their prices, you can seriously afford to keep up! Clever graphic tees, funky accessories like suspenders and bow ties, and bright colored pants are great finds in the boys’ department, while girls can choose from tons of cute leggings, dresses, tops, and accessories. Bigger kids and teens will love their L.O.G.G. collection full of cozy sweaters and preppy basics, as well as the Divided Collection which is more edgy. The “Basics” line offers just that-basic tees-many of them in ultra-soft organic cotton, and available in money-saving multi-packs. Stores located in Downtown Denver, Cherry Creek, Lakewood, Westminster, Broomfield, Boulder, Castle Rock, and Colorado Springs.

6. Costco & Sam’s Club

While the clothing selection is small by comparison, the prices on the things they do carry are unbeatable–the savings will make your membership very worthwhile! I’m a Costco member myself, so I am not as familiar with Sam’s selection, but both stores carry name-brand jeans, coats, gloves, backpacks, socks, undies, shoes, and more. While there are no fitting rooms, the generous return policies at each store will ensure that you’re happy with your purchase. Costco has a bit of a cult following for their Kirkland Signature brand sheepskin boots–a lookalike of the popular (and spendy) UGGs, but at a fraction of the price. Besides clothing, there are huge bargains to be found on bulk grocery items (hello, lunch boxes!), school supplies like pencils, pens, and glue sticks,  as well as bestseller books and technology. 


If your kiddos need computers for school this year, Rakuten is hard to beat. Offering manufacturer-refurbished laptops, desktops, Chromebooks, and Macs at a considerable savings vs. new, they price-check across several different vendors to make sure that you get the best deal. They also carry new items, but with a full warranty available on refurb’s, it’s a no-brainer! They’re sort of a jack-of-all-trades discounter, carrying clothing, books, toys, and more, but the Computers department is where the best bargains are found. 


Not a store, but an online shopping tool that culls discount codes from hundreds of retailers and gives members a percent of their purchase back in cash. Start here for all of your online shopping: retail partners include Amazon, EBay, Target, Sears, Delia’s, Aeropostale, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Gap, Forever 21, Foot Locker, Land’s End, Old Navy, and many, many more. 


Kids need glasses or contacts for the new school year? Story of my life…the only test I ever failed was Vision! I wish Coastal had been around when I was a kid. With amazing prices on their massive selection of designer frames, the best prices I’ve found anywhere on specialty lenses, and flexible, no-interest payment plans, I’d have been the trendiest glasses-wearin-kid in school. Plus, the “Try On View” allows you to upload a picture and virtually try on any frame to make sure that you’re happy with your selection. You can even share your try-on picture to Facebook and get your friends’ opinions! Free shipping both ways, a money back guarantee, and they even throw in a free case, cleaning kit, and mini screwdriver with every pair of glasses. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate/referral links. All opinions and text are my own and based on my first-hand experience with the stores I love.



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