Family Life

Back to School on a Budget

Back to school is one of those times of year when your wallet really feels it when you have school aged kids. On top of needing new back to school clothes, there’s the lists that seem to get longer every year from the school. If you are looking to save some money on your back to school shopping this year, here are some tips:

Back to school on a budget

Back to School on a Budget

Do a swap with other parents. If you have friends or family with kids, see if they would be interested in doing a clothing swap. This is where you all get the clean, in good shape clothing that your kids have out-grown and take it to one locations, usually someone’s home, and swap. This can be a great way to save money on school clothes.

Another way to save on school clothes is to check out yard sales and thrift stores. You would be amazed at what you can find in these places. I have found name brand clothing that just left the racks of the store 6 months ago and even new clothing that still had the tags on it. The prices are usually way cheaper than you would pay retail as well.

Make what your kids already own into something for cooler weather. For instance, if you have a little girl and she had a favorite knee-length sun dress, pair it with leggings and a shirt under it and you have a cool weather outfit.

Wait until your state’s “tax holiday”. Several states including Texas, Iowa, Florida and Georgia have a tax holiday time. During this time, you can purchase back to school goods with no tax.  To see if your state has a tax holiday and when it is, make sure to check out this link.

Look for coupons. Many companies, such as crayola, put out coupons this time of year to buy these supplies.

Skip the dollar store. One of the biggest traps most people get caught in is to head to the dollar store for school supplies. This is almost always a bad idea. Not only is the quality usually bad with dollars store office and school supplies, but they are usually way more expensive than the sales at other stores this time of year.

Look at office supplies stores. You may not think they are very cheap places to buy school supplies, but office supply stores, especially the big chains like Staples, often have very low cost school supplies. One year, they had a deal of the day kind of thing and on one day, I got crayons for 10 cents a 24 pack and another day, I got a pencil case for a quarter.

Don’t buy character gear. You will always pay more for licensed back to school gear with your child’s favorite movie or cartoon on it. Instead, let them be the artist. Get plain folders, lunch boxes, etc and give them stickers, markers and anything else to decorate their items, themselves.

Buy in bulk online. There are lots of places online to buy school supplies ion bulk for cheap. If you have a larger brood, this might be the best way to go. Just make sure to compare your bulk prices by the unit with sales happening in your area to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.

What are some ways you save on back to school purchases?

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