Many of our clients are parents of school-aged children who don’t want to obliterate their August budget. As a result, I decided to share seven ways you can save money during back to school season.
1. Shop your house
There is absolutely nothing wrong with reusing lunch boxes, pencils, backpacks, etc from last year. (If they’re in good shape, of course.)
Be sure to search under beds, in junk drawers, and other weird places to save money.
If you want to get proactive, snag a small tote from the dollar store and collect all supplies at the end of this year for next year.
2. Buy what they need; skip what they want.
Listen, your little princess doesn’t need the Disney pencils. Likewise, your superhero doesn’t need the notebook he thinks boosts his special powers.
If you’re modeling contentment, this is a great opportunity to reinforce what your kids already see in your habits. Setting limits for certain items is completely acceptable.
Also, if they have been receiving commissions for housework and save money well, they can cover the difference with their own money.
3. Take advantage of any sales.
Tax-free weekend gives budget-conscious parents a great opportunity to save money on back to school items.
You can even skip the mega-stores and opt for dollar stores for even greater savings. (Don’t tell anyone, but the crowds are often smaller there.)
Be careful, though! Don’t lose the advantages of tax-free or a major sales weekend by adding things you really don’t need.
4. Shop unconventional places for deals on used items.
Need to save money on a graphing calculator? Check out Facebook Marketplace.
Searching for a new laptop? Check apps like OfferUp and LetGo for awesome deals!
Shop thrift stores for gently-used items as well.
Everything doesn’t have to be sparkling new to function. Also, you have a great chance of finding an awesome deal when folks are constantly being reminded of items they could sell.
5. Ask family and friends.
Family and friends can be a great help with either providing items or locating deals. I once got a washer and dryer for free after asking the right person where I could find a set.
Now you don’t want to take advantage of anyone, but asking a close family member to keep an eye out for a used computer shouldn’t be a big deal.
Some may just step up and offer to assist with a few items. You’ll never know if you don’t verbalize your needs.
6. Label Everything
One way to save money on school supplies is to not buy them over and over.
Grab a permanent marker and write your child’s name on pens, scissors, etc.
This doesn’t guarantee they won’t lose anything, but it does help some things find their way back to the rightful owner.
7. Hold off on certain items for a bit.
With a wife who teaches, I may catch a little heat for this one, but that’s ok. Yes, I am recommending that you hold off on certain items if they are out of your budget.
This is for those with several small children whose teachers need hand sanitizer, tissues, etc.
Feel free to buy an item or two now, and send more as you can. You may discover that certain items may even be cheaper after school starts.
I’m sure if you keep in constant communication with the teacher, you’ll learn as particular items run low. That’s your moment to step up and shine!
Creativity can help you save money.
Seriously! Think outside the box a little bit if you get near you’re budgeted amount. It’s totally fine to push a purchase back a few weeks to make your budget work. It won’t make you any less of a parent.
Your kids can still get a great education with you being a budget-conscious parent.
Share any tips you may have in a comment below!
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