Back to School On A Budget

It’s almost that time again! Can you believe it? We are already getting prepared to go back to school here on the Gulf Coast and we all know what that entails. Money. And lots of it. No matter the size of the family, getting ready for school can be expensive for everyone.
 
So get ready, because here are some back-to-school tips and tricks to help you with expenses this school year.  

 

1. Inventory

If you want to save on kids supplies for back-to-school, you need to first look at the items you already have on-hand. Look through the back-to-school supply list and determine what you really need to buy vs. what you already have and can reuse. We are all guilty of just throwing things away, but keeping up with the extra supplies that your kids didn’t use the year before can save you some serious cash.

2. Talk to the teacher

Teachers are our best friends and they need help with their classroom too! If you can’t buy the three sets of GermX with the three sets of tissues and the five packs of papers, check with the teacher to see what he or she suggests. Most teachers are happy to work with you on separating the “need nows” from the “need laters.”

3. Shop on Sales Tax Holidays

This is a must for back to school on a budget! Always check when Alabama is having their tax free weekends.

4. Buy in Bulk

Bulk buys are a great way to save money on certain items. Purchase bulk packages of snacks, granola bars, trail mix and other items for your kids to take for lunches. And hey, warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club even offer clothes, shoes and other items your kids might need for school.

Stock up on Ziploc bags and lunch sacks as well. Buy big quantities of foods like chips or cookies and repackage them in smaller bags to avoid buying more expensive “snack packs.” 

5. Thrift for Clothing or Swap

Check out thrift stores for awesome deals on gently-used kids clothing. Kids grow so fast they often don’t wear out their clothes before they’re too big. Staples like jeans, jackets and even shoes are a great deal at your local thrift store. Also look for uniforms. The material in polo shirts, khaki pants and standard uniform-wear is made to hold up!

If you aren’t having luck with thrift stores, swap with your fellow moms on Facebook or get a group of friends together to do a clothing exchange. Include items like backpacks, which might get outgrown when your kids move from Paw Patrol to Spiderman.

6. Visit the Dollar Store

Another great place to save on back-to-school - The dollar store! They usually offer all sorts of school supplies—containers, paper, stickers, pens, markers, crayons…the list goes on and on. Now, obviously some stores are offering deals for less than $1 on certain but for most of the basics, $1 can’t be beat!

Check the $1 bins at and the dollar section at other discount stores as well. At this time of year there are usually great deals on certain supplies we’re all in the market for. Avoid getting wooed by the decorative items you don’t need. Those dollar bins are very tempting!

7. Get Social Alerts from Favorite Stores

If you’re avoiding the temptation to spend money, you’ve probably unsubscribed or stopped following your favorite store’s sales alerts. Back-to-school is a good time to start following them again for the month, especially on Twitter and email.

Stores offer sales alerts and flash sales right now and being on their alert program helps you keep track. Unsubscribe later when you’ve finished your back-to-school shopping. Bonus—many stores will offer you a special discount for signing up for sales alerts and emails.

 

It’s easy to save on back-to-school and it doesn’t mean throwing your budget out the window. Using these back-to-school tips and tricks, a little planning and smart decisions, you’ll save plenty of money while still getting all the stuff your kids need for a great year.