With National Back to School Prep Day approaching on August 15; parents, teachers, and students are feeling the exciting emotions of a new school year! For many, it’s a step back to normalcy after homeschooling and virtual learning took over and consumed too much of the best years of young lives. When classroom doors open the school supply lists start to come! While back-to-school items sound harmless enough, the spending can add up faster than lightning especially if you have multiple kids in school. At one time, a notebook with paper and pencil were all students needed. Today, the last-minute notice of necessities has increased to a notebook for every subject along with extensive items that students may or may not actually use. As you shop, be wise. Here are some ways to help you keep the excitement, get the job done and save big!
Send the basics with your children, like pencils, erasers, and notebooks. Ask teachers what students really need. Those lists can be like a generic form letter. If needs arise later, of course, comply. Chances are one reasonable notebook and a set of dividers are all that’s needed rather than a bundle of overpriced versions that will never be used.
Bundle With Amazon
More can be less when you opt to buy a bundle at a cheaper cost. A twelve-pack of glue sticks can run six dollars over buying them individually at two dollars. The multi-pack comes out to $.50 each versus two dollars. Now that’s a saving!
Mix and Match Clothing
Buy fewer outfits and spend less cash when you mix and match. One day wear your long sleeve shirt, another day wear a stylish short sleeve. Day three is free outfit day when you slip the short sleeve over the long, giving a totally different look without an extra purchase. The possibilities here are endless!
Kids grow so fast and very seldom wear the “new” off of their clothing, much less wear them out! Gather friends and neighbors for a free clothing swap! Trade a hat for a hat, a jacket for a jacket, and a full outfit for a full outfit. That way everyone wins, no one loses…but everyone saves!
Buy Clothes in Small Batches
Purchasing clothing and shoes for an entire year will cost you! Kids grow, clothes don’t. Start with a week or two of outfits. By the time seasons change, sizes may have, too. That’s when it’s time to add to the wardrobe…instead of subtracting the outgrown items. Plus, they’ll have something to get excited about later. This is a math lesson in itself!
Keep a Close Eye Out
Just because school supplies have hit the store aisles does not mean they’re a bargain! The time is right and you can get those dollar spiral notebooks for as little as $.20. When it’s something you can’t have too many of, stock up on the savings!
Lunches That Count
Don’t waste money on prepackaged lunches that are more of a snack than a meal. Instead, catch deals at the deli, pack leftovers from home-cooked dinners such as spaghetti and other filling foods with sustainable fuel..all while saving money and not wasting leftovers.
Out With the Old But Keep the New
Never throw away all of last year’s leftover supplies. Toss out the old pencil nubs but gather those that still have plenty of life left. Sure, have some new items for the first few days of school but then gradually work in the older supplies. At that point, who’s going to know the difference? People won’t but your wallet will!
Playing a School Sport?
Whatever or wherever the activities are…hydrate with refillable sports bottles and a scoop of essential electrolytes. A tasty $30 container will make 100+ drinks and the bottle is infinitely reusable. Do the math and count the savings along with the punch of healthy benefits!
That’s right, shopping under the big green dollar sign will save a stash of cash! Often things even at discount stores are triple the price of The Dollar Tree! Plus, it’s easy to keep up with how much you’re spending and stick to a budget with everything being a dollar!
Take Advantage of NoTax Day!
From clothing to computers, removing the tax can add up to more than you might realize! Confirm what items are included and the states participating, then head out and make that school supplies more affordable!
Check Clearance Areas!
Treasure hunts are awesome especially when the finds are huge! Do a little digging and reap the rewards of money well saved! Don’t leave out true outlet stores on your search. Just beware of the gimmicks that cost just as much as top retail.
Save the Receipts!
Save those receipts for at least a month! Most stores easily give refunds with a receipt and a return within a reasonable time frame. No receipt = no refund…which = money lost! Keep a simple envelope in your bag and immediately put the receipt there for a hassle-free, money-back return when needed!
Ride the Bus
Save time and gas money using the option of free bus services. When the bus comes right by your door there’s no reason not to take advantage of the savings! Benefit from those school taxes you’re paying!
Check Out Personal Discounts
Look into student discounts, free lunches, and even breakfasts. If grandparents are nearby, take advantage of their senior citizen discounts and reimburse them after the savings. They’ll love the time spent shopping with precious grandchildren while saving parents a bundle of cash…and that is a huge win-win!