Summer vacations are coming to an end and the school year is almost here. Now that we’ve all got that summer glow, it’s time to start the back-to-school preparations. We know that simply the thought of it can be overwhelming—especially the financial side—and we understand why. It’s expensive!
In fact, a recent press release from the National Retail Federation reveals that, “Families with children in grades K-12 plan to spend an average $673.57 on apparel and accessories, electronics, shoes and school supplies” and “college students and families with children in college plan to spend an average of $888.71, according to the survey.”
Yikes! Parents… We feel for you. So, we’ve compiled seven tips to help you keep some of your cash inside your wallet.
1. Take Inventory and Recycle. Go through the backpacks that have been sitting stagnant in your kids’ closets all summer. Check closets, bedrooms, and office spaces for what supplies you already have on hand so that you don’t end up making unnecessary purchases. Don’t be afraid to reuse folders, binders, and notebooks. Just tear out the old, used notebook pages and put a sticker over the old subject name written on the outside cover.
2. Team up with other moms and buy in bulk at Costco. Divide and conquer.
3. Check the Dollar Store. They have a variety of school supplies, and their pencils write just as well. The Dollar Store is the perfect place to stock up on poster board as well. Every year there seems to be a project that pops up at the least opportune time, and it inevitably requires a poster board… Having some on hand will save Mom from running to Walmart after dinner.
4. Take advantage of tax-free weekend. For most participating states, it will occur the weekend of August 4-6. If you want to find out whether or not the state you live in participates and, if so, what dates, check out this article.
5. Coupons. Always check the store’s website, Facebook page, or app (like Target’s Cartwheel app) for coupons before buying. In fact, I find that it’s better to check these out before even going inside—it’s a time-saver!
6. Network. High school kids seem to have bigger expenses, like scientific or graphing calculators. There’s nothing wrong with hunting for a deal… Even on social media. Consider posting a quick note to your friends on Facebook stating what you’re looking to purchase. There are certainly people out there who would like the opportunity to sell these big-ticket items (that they once bought) for a little extra cash that they wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s a win-win for everyone.
7. Check Craigslist and local Facebook group pages. My community has a neighborhood yard sale group, a mommy sell or swap group, and many other groups of that nature. Both Craigslist and the Facebook groups update all day, every day, so be sure to keep your eye on them throughout the day. You may want to post a “Wanted” listing for what exactly you’re looking for, in case someone owns it but doesn’t have it listed yet. Hint: “ISO” means “in search of” in case you want to be appear in-the-know. You also may want to consider selling some things of your own that you no longer need or items that your children have grown out of… Adding a little extra cushion to your wallet as you shop!
We hope these tips help! Have a wonderful, new school year and happy shopping, friends!
You will also like Maintaining Your Sanity Through the School Year, Are You Chasing Paper? 1o Practical Ways to Save Money, 7 Things Your Daughter Needs for Back to School, 5 Tips to Avoid Mindless Purchasing, 7 Helpful Tips to Relieve Middle School Anxiety and Back to School after 40.