At the start of every school year, it is a good idea to search through your closets and drawers before doing any shopping. You will find all kinds of items you had tucked away for various reasons, and your kids likely have all kinds of clothes under the toys piled up in the bottom of their closets.
This year (2009), I only needed to spend about $12 on clothes for my son to start the 9th grade. Several months ago we bought a very nice backpack that never got used for its intended purpose, so it was still new. There were a couple of nice polo shirts that he dug out from behind his dresser, plus a whole pile of socks that had been slowly disappearing back there. (Mystery solved!) We went through several boxes in the hall closet and gathered almost all of the school supplies he needed, and rediscovered a few nice light jackets we had forgotten about.
Going through your own closets and boxes in the basement or attic before going shopping will not only save you a lot of money, but you’ll find things you have been looking for, or things you’d forgotten you had.