Before you leave the house to go spend a fortune on backpacks and notebooks, do a quick inventory of what you have. Get your kids to gather everything they have from pencils, notebooks, and lunch boxes. If it’s not broke, don’t try to fix it by getting a new one.
Once you go through all the supplies that you have, make a list of what you need. Notice how I said need, not want. If you go into a store without a list you could end up with more than you actually need. After you have made your list, set a budget. Try to only use cash so you stay within your set goal.This could be a great opportunity to talk to you kids about expenses. Start teaching them good practices when it comes to handling money.
Back to school clothing is going to be the most expensive part of school shopping. If money is extra tight, check out your local thrift stores and garage sales. Get gently used clothing and shoes for your kids at a price that you can live with. You can also try for back to school sales, especially online. Some back to school coupon codes are only available through the retailers’ websites so make sure to check online before you go shopping. You may even find coupons through your favorite retailers’ social media accounts.
Try the dollar store and Walmart for great deals on pencils, notebooks, and all other school supplies. It might be worth your time to even compare prices. Dollar Stores also have cheap dining and cooking ware if you or your kid is going away for college. If they are going to college, they will need help saving as much money as possible.
We’ve talked about how expensive college tuition is before but books are probably going to be another very expensive part for a college student. Our tip? Buy used textbooks or rent them through Amazon.com or other online lenders. Find out how to save more for your textbooks here.
Lastly, save your receipt! If something you bought that doesn’t work, is broken or is simply the wrong item altogether, you will know within the first week of school. Ask your kids what they will actually be using and if you bought something that isn’t necessary, take it back.