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Cutting School Uniform Costs

By Jodie Lynn


This is the first year that the elementary school that our three kids attend has decided to make all the students wear uniforms beginning in January. We don't see anything wrong with this and think it would actually make our lives easier. However, they are now trying to pass a mandatory rule that all uniforms can only be purchased from a specific shop that seems way overpriced. This doesn't seem very fair, especially for those that have two, three or more kids. How can we approach the school board and perhaps change their mind?


When our school decided to do this, we had three kids that needed uniforms. We checked with the uniform shop to see which other schools they provided uniforms to. My best friend and I called the schools to try to find out which of these might hold a yearly or biyearly clothing sale. We went to those schools and asked if the teacher would contact the parents to see if there were any that might be selling their children's uniforms and gave our phone number to the teacher to give to them, if anyone was interested in selling to us. Once we got a few, we brought the clothes to the principal of our school and presented them for his approval. They were so well taken care of and looked almost new that he put a blurb in the school newspaper that gently used uniforms would be allowed. - Nicole P. and Melaney R. in Long Island, NY


Generally when schools require parents to buy uniforms from the same store, it is mainly to have all the kids look "uniform" in their clothes and appearance. For example, same color and style of shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, etc. However, it can also cost an arm and a leg when first getting a few sets if they have to be bought at a specific shop. There are a few things you may be able to do to help cut the cost. Suggest that the school board appoint a uniform coordinator to approach the store about a two-year contract that would offer a school-wide discount for each family purchasing the uniforms exclusively from their store. You could also perhaps suggest that if a family has more than two kids, the discount is a little larger. Or, you might buy a set and do a little research on your own time to see if the uniform pieces are sold at discount stores, such as Target or Walmart and if they differ. If they are the same color, fabric and style, take these to the board and show them that there is no difference, plus could save each family quite a bit of money, if approved. Also, if possible, buy them a tad larger to be sure that they can be utilized the next school year.

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My wife just gave birth to our son around six weeks ago. Her roller-coaster emotions fluctuate so much that I can't keep up and have problems knowing what to say when so I don't upset her. Can you help with subjects like what to say about pain, sleep, breastfeeding, her appearance and sex to keep me out of the doghouse?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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