Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How I Plan on Getting my Children's School Uniforms for Free

School uniforms.  Some people love them, many hate them, but as a former Catholic school girl I have to admit they will always have a place in my heart.  As someone who still struggles to put outfits together, they made my life easier when I was a kid and now that I'm a mom, they make my life easier by eliminating any morning battles about what my kids are going to wear to school.  The husband was skeptical regarding how easy they could make our lives but he's come around as Maren runs away when she sees a dress she doesn't want to wear or Sully cries because he wants to wear his Superman shirt four days in a row and it's just so filthy it's unwearable.  Not having a choice is sometimes the best choice when it comes to school fashions.

Shannon has been in school a few years now and over that time I've bought many different brands of polo shirts and pants.  He must wear navy pants and then has a choice between white or a dark green polo.  I've found that buying cheap leads to ripped knees and stained/ripped/yellowed shirts that just won't come clean.  So, I've been buying more and more from Lands' End.  First, they are a Wisconsin based company so it's always nice to support a more local business.  Second, their uniform pants have reinforced knees, and for the younger boys, have a hook closure instead of a button which is a big deal when little ones are still learning not only dressing and un-dressing themselves but the art of making it to the bathroom in time.  Third, in the older kids sizes, you can order the pants hemmed (for free, which is simply amazing.)  Based on last year when Shannon only wore Lands' End pants, I found that by the end of the year the pants had faded a bit in color, but not a ton and far less than pairs I had purchased in years past from Old Navy, Kohl's, Target or Crazy 8, and all the knees were intact.  I think there was one pair that perished, but it was ripped when Shannon walked by something and got caught on it, rather than the typical knee rips from playground play.  The remaining four pair are packed away now for Sully to wear when he's older. Now that Shannon is big enough that I can order hemmed pants, I'm hoping I can stretch them out for two years of wear instead of just one.  For the top, I buy the performance interlock polo shirts because I like the feel of them better than the mesh version.  I've found that the white stays white the entire school year and the fabric stays soft.

All of this adds up though.  Even on sale, the pants and polo shirts are a little spendy.  And, when you're buying five pair of pants and then five short-sleeve plus five long-sleeved polo shirts, plus let's not forget Quinn who needs some short and long sleeved blouses or shirts as well, it really adds up.  But, this year I plan on buying everything without spending more than hopefully $50.  How is that possible?  Well, I've been using my Swagbucks and PerkTV points to buy Lands' End gift cards.  I just placed an order for five polo shirts, which I paid $14.18 for, down from a total of $70.90 (sale of 25% off, plus free shipping, $50.00 in gift cards and $6.72 in Shop Your Way Rewards.) By August I should be able to get a few more gift cards so I can buy pants when they go on sale again.  Then, I have a little time before they'll need long sleeves so I should be able to get those totally free by hopefully mid-October. 

If you've tried Swagbucks in the past and never were able to really earn points, Perk might be the better choice.  The Perk TV app runs app and movie trailers, with ads in between, and you earn points just for letting it run.  I have the app on my iPad and let it run overnight and during the day while I'm at work.  There's no daily point limit so just letting it run can really rack up the points.  If you have an old phone lying around you might be able to install the app on that and just let it run.  If you're interested in trying it out, you can get 50 bonus points by using my referral code, 3d5a9a13.  Perk TV can be downloaded from iTunes or from Google Play.  In addition to the Perk TV app, there is also a browser, a search engine and a quiz game, all of which also reward points for using them.  I've been having some fun playing the quiz game at night after the kids are asleep.

Back to uniforms.  Here's a picture of Shannon in his at the start of last year.  He's standing as though he's off to military school instead of first grade.

And Quinn.  Too bad they don't sell the uniform dresses at Lands' End.

 I can't wait to compare pictures from this year.  They have grown so much!

Please note that the Swagbucks and Perk links are referral links but all the others are not.

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