It’s that time of year… you know, right after they put the red, white, and blue picnic décor away, but just before the Halloween candy comes out – yes, Back-to-School time! Getting ready to send the kiddos back to school can be exciting, nostalgic, and a little stressful. Don’t let the rising expense of supplies and list of needs bring you down, there are ways to save and keep you Financially Fit…
1. Sooner isn’t always Better
While it is exciting to see those shiny folders, vibrant crayons, and fresh bottles of glue line the shelf early on, it’s not always the best idea to buy your supplies right when they hit the floor. According to an article from MSNMoney, holding off on the first ‘Back-to-School
’ and waiting for later
sales will save you money. Sale
2. Make a list of Needs, BEFORE going to the store
Before you embark on the trip to the store for Number 2 pencils, make a detailed list of what you need. Take the list the school has given, add any other necessities, and stick to the list. Remember that in some cases, different children in different grades will need different supplies – so it’s important to look at various necessities. Remember to stick to the list! If it says 24 pack of crayons and 2 glue sticks, get the 24 pack (not 48) and 2 glue sticks (not 5).
3. Reduce, Reuse, Save Money
Once you've made your detailed list, shop around at home first. Check the supplies the kids brought home from school at the end of the year and see which folders will hold up, which markers still work, and if there are notebooks with a decent amount of paper left in them. Reusing school supplies that still have some life left in them will save you money, and create a whole lot less waste.
4. Keep an eye out for Give-Aways
Watch your local ads and flyers for any back to school giveaways! You might find a deal for a free notebook with a purchase of folders, or a free ruler with a pack of pens, etc. If you need the items, it never hurts to get a little something free along with it that you can also check off the list!
5. Buy in Bulk
After looking at the handy-dandy list you made, you know you’ll have to pick up a half dozen notebooks and fifteen folders, why not buy in bulk? Depending on the age of your child, a large pack of loose-leaf paper may be a less spendy alternative to notebooks, and splitting a large pack of colored pencils could be cheaper than buying two or three. If you don’t have multiple kids to split the supplies between, consider going supply shopping with another parent or two and divvy up what you need.
6. Keep it Basic
There are loads of supplies with sparkles, gems, sports teams, and TV stars on them, but are often more expensive than the generic supplies as well. While it’s fun to splurge by letting the kiddos pick out 1 or 2 ‘fancy’ items, the ‘plain’ colored folders and yellow pencils will work just as well, and save you some money.
Don’t let the cost of back-to-school time take the excitement out of your school shopping, it doesn't have to break your budget. Make a list, have some fun, and get the kids ready for a great school year ahead!
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