Back to school can break the bank. Trendy shops, school supplies, must-have items from a kiddos perspective. What if you could have it all, but stay within a budget?
Here are my Ten Tips for Saving Money During Back to School Season:
1. Dress for Less
Dressing the kiddos doesn’t have to cost you the shirt off your back. Try organizing a clothing swap with your friends, neighbors or school. Each Mom brings clean, lightly worn clothing and shoes to the swap. Each article gets a point for a trade-in item. It’s a great way to clean out the closets and get a whole newer wardrobe in a back-to-school size!
Check out the consignment shops in your area or Good Will. We find Gymboree and The Children’s Place (sometimes with tags) at a fraction of the cost!
If clothing still fits renew it with a trendy accessory, scarf or belt.
2.) School Supplies
Wait until school starts and you receive the list of supplies required for the classroom. Then take stock of what you have on hand. We perform a scavenger hunt for the items…my kiddos are creative and find scissors, unused pencils, pens, and erasers in drawers, under beds, closets etc.
3.) Buy in Bulk
Whenever possible, buy in bulk, divide the contents with another family, or donate to your school.
4.) Start a Mom Network
Find thrifty moms like you and start a network. Delegate tasks and watch store fliers and online coupon sites for the best savings. One mom can pick up glue and pencils while another can get paper and crayons. This saves time, which we all know equals money.
5.) Sack the Savings
If your a family that packs lunch, clean out last year’s school box or create a new one by repurposing a pail or fun container. Invest in a reusable water container rather than one-time juice boxes. Find reusable snack and sandwich containers, or make your own. This saves on Ziplocs and foil and saves you money, and helps Planet Earth.
6.) Shop Sales Tax Holidays
See if your state offers sales tax holidays if you don’t suffer from agoraphobia and can stand the crowds. Most are when we start thinking about back-to-school landing at the end of July or early August.
7.) Think of All Year as Back To School
Watch advertisements and sales throughout the year to stock up on items you know you’ll use. Even if you don’t use them THIS year, they’ll be a great addition to next year and save some money.
8.) Make a List and Stick to It
Keep it specific and only the items you need. Prioritize based on how soon it is needed, then watch for sales, shop online, and keep an eye out for items on your list.
9.) Check Used Book Stores
It’s a great resource for finding books on teachers’ reading lists. You can donate a book to your school’s library on your child’s birthday rather than invest in “treats.” You can donate the books to your child’s classroom at the end of the year.
10.) Use Coupons
I save fliers that come in the mail, or that we pick up at the store and have my kiddos clip out the coupons. I clip them to my list and use them throughout the year as needed based on expiration and my need for the item.
Staples makes going back to school easy
Staples provides significant savings, a wide selection of quality products, and a one-stop-shop and stress-free shopping experience.
Staples is helping to get school supplies into the hands of those in need through the 3rd Annual Staples Do Something 101 School Supply Drive. The first two Do Something 101 school supply drives raised nearly $1 million for local charities to purchase back-to-school supplies for students who need them. In addition, Staples stores donated thousands of school supplies to their recipient organizations.
Remember, your money-saving is limited only to your imagination! What are your tips for saving money during the back-to-school season?
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here