Back to school time is such a conflicting time for parents. On one hand it’ll be nice to let the kiddos get back into the swing of school (and get them out of the house!) On the other hand, shopping for school supplies is a huge annual expense that takes any money you saved this summer and stuffs it right into your child’s backpack.
It doesn’t have to make your bank account cry! Here are some tips for back to school shopping that won’t break the bank. For links to school supplies and other important back to school information, visit our Back to School guide.
Conduct a Clean Sweep!
You won’t believe all of the stuff you already have stuck in drawers or in old backpacks. It’s a good time to clean out closets anyway with the season change not far away, so go ahead and dig through those desk drawers too!
Hit garage sales and thrift stores
Things get donated en masse when people move or downsize, and a lot of times that means brand new stuff at thrift stores and garage sales. Plot out a weekend day for a little bargain hunting!
Compare with the dollar store
Some items you know won’t last long no matter how carefully your child treats them. Folders, for example, or notebooks have a short shelf life. Those items might as well come at a cheaper cost! Use that money you save to toss some stickers into the basket and you have a fun craft project.
Take a peek online
If higher ticket items like books and calculators are on your list this year, online might be the way to go. Often you can find re-purposed supplies online or even brand new items at cheaper costs. It’s worth a look!
Take advantage of the tax-free weekend
This year it is the weekend of August 5-7. The cash from sales tax adds up! For a list of supplies that are covered, click here. (Pro tip: hurricane preparedness supplies also fall under the tax-free weekend!)
Wait before buying trendier items
That “Finding Dory” lunchbox is adorable and your child loves it, but it might be cheaper in October. Wait on the fancy and name brand stuff if you can and watch the prices go down.
Ask for help
Before you go on the big shop, ask other parents if they happened to find any great deals. We’re our own best resource sometimes!
Need help with lunch ideas? Click here for our “Out-of-the-Lunchbox” school lunch ideas.
What are your handy tricks for back to school success? Shoot us an email and let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org