Trying on clothes probably isn't on most kids' list of favorite things to do, but it is an essential part of shopping for back-to-school or other new clothing

Trying on clothes probably isn't on most kids' list of favorite things to do, but it is an essential part of shopping for back-to-school or other new clothing. There are ways to simplify the process.

Ask the child to try on clothes and make a list of still-usable items. Sort clothing — some may still fit, but may be stained or out of style and no longer suitable for school wear.Decide on a manageable back-to-school budget. Establish a separate budget for each child, but recognize that not all children may require the same expenditures. For example, an older child is likely to need a greater share of the funds available because their clothing is more expensive. Spending can sometimes be spread out. Plan to buy some items after school has started.Before shopping, check school district recommendations and/or dress codes.Try to shop when the stores are least crowded.Plan to shop for the most needed items (like shoes) and staples (like jeans or khaki slacks) first.Choosing clothes that offer growing room is recommended. Allowing growing room should not, however, compromise children's safety.Take items that will need to be matched with you when shopping. As an example, if you plan to match a new top to a red skirt that still fits, take the skirt with you when you shop.Try before you buy. Keep receipts in case returning clothing is necessary.Ask children to help keep track of expenses for their clothing. Asking a child to help track their expenses can help them develop a greater appreciation for what things cost.Jana McKinney is a McPherson County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences.