With the bad economy as a parent we are always looking for new ways to save money when it comes to Back To School shopping. So I complied a list of things that we have tried over the years to save money during back to school time!
Supplies- The list of supplies seems to get longer and longer every year. But there are ways to cut cost on these necessary items….
- Use What You Have- A lot of times there are items from last year that you can use this year. Items like; rulers, scissors, pencil sharpeners, binders, school boxes, book bags, etc. You child does not have to have brand new items every year. Do clean the items up make sure that they are still functional.
- Check Sales- Starting mid July grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, etc all start having sales on their school supplies. When they run a 12pk of pencils for .10, buy more than what you need. This way throughout the year your child will not run out of supplies and you will not have to pay full price for the supplies.
- Dollar Store- When in doubt check the dollar stores. Of course all of these items are $1, so if you can not find great deals but still want to stay on budget, shop at the dollar stores. Although you can find items cheaper during back to school time, but if you are in the middle of the school year and need something, this is the best place to get the cheapest items!
Clothing- Your kids may think that they need $1000 worth of new clothes to start school with, but really they don’t. They only wear summer clothes for a little over a month and then begin wearing fall attire.
- Shop Year Round- Find deals year round will save you big time in the end. You then only buy what you need at the time but your kids are still getting the new clothes that they need.
- Check Clearance Racks- Shopping the clearance racks is one of my favorite things to do!! I love finding a great outfit for my little ones knowing that just a few weeks ago that out fit was $50 (the one that my oldest daughter just could not live with out) and I am getting it for $20 just for waiting. So just waiting a few weeks I was able to save a huge amount of money and still get to be the cool mom for buying my daughter that outfit!!
- Re Use What You have- There are many things that are already in your child’s closet that they could re-wear with just a few minor changes. Old t-shirts could be tie dyed, painted, embellished or added to a tank top. Jeans are very easy to change; buttons, embellishments, funky belts, painted, etc. Be creative, with a few changes you have a completely new wardrobe in a days worth of craft projects with the kids.
- Re-Sale Shops- I have to admit, until recently I did not shop at resale shops. I had never really been in one and just thought that we could afford brand new clothes, why not just get new. But after visiting a few local resale shops and finding deals like .99 items (thanks Re-Runs) and only spending $30 for 26 items. Which 8 of these were jeans and name brand jeans at that. I love shopping resale shops now and it is a huge money saver. With kids changing their style weekly, it is nice to let them keep up with their changes and not break our budget. We do still add a lot of new pieces, but buying some items from the resale shops helps us get more for our money.
- Shop Online- There are many places that offer great discounts for buying your back to school clothes online. Plus you can search for promo codes and FREE shipping codes to help cut cost as well. Also do not forget to shop through places like Ebates to get rebates on the purchase you make just for buying them through their site.
- Tax FREE Days- There are many cities that offer tax FREE days where you have one day to shop with out paying any taxes. If you do plan to make a larger purchase try and wait until one of these days roll around. A few hundred dollars in clothing could cost you a lot in taxes.
- Swap Clothing- If you have friends or family that have children the same age as yours, then start a swap. Have them go through all of their kids old clothes and you go through your child’s clothes. Pick a date and a place and then let the kids each pick out clothes from the others that they want for them selves. If everyone brings a set number and goes home with a set number, then all the kids are happy to get new clothes with out spending a dime!!
Back Packs- I have always bought our girls new book bags each year, due to the character ones that they usually want falling apart and not lasting longer than a year. So if you buy a quality book bag and want to get a few years use out of it, here are a few suggestions to help make your child book bag look new and exciting.
- Reuse What You Have- There are many things you can do to a book bag to get a longer life span out of last years bag. First repair any rips or tears, next clean it up. You would be amazed at what some soap and elbow grease can get you. If you still want to add a new touch you can change the look of the bag. Add buttons, embellishments, paint it, add bows, etc. Think out side the bag!!!
- Check Sales- Starting mid July grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, etc all start having sales on their school supplies. There are many times where you will see store running sales like FREE back pack after rebates or spend $10 in such in such items and get a FREE back pack. Make sure that you send in the rebate and that the additional purchase are items that you can use and are a good deal, or you really are not saving.