Can you believe it's already time for the kids to go back to school? I started seeing all the deals a couple weeks ago and got so excited! Pens and pencils for a penny? Count me in! Then I started thinking about everything else that goes along with back to school time. Book fees, gym uniforms, school pictures, sports team fees. I am starting to feel like I have a part time job writing checks!
Although lots of parents are excited to see their kids go back to school they aren't excited about the money they are spending. The average family spends around $700 to send the kiddos back to school. Back to school is an expensive time of year.
It can be an expensive time of year but with a little bit of planning, you can send your kids back to school without spending all of your money. Check out my favorite back to school savings hacks.
Don't buy everything at one store because they have a couple of good deals. Take advantage of the deals everywhere. It may take a little more time to go from store to store, but you can save a lot of money. I try to make my list a couple weeks before school starts and just grab the deals while I am out running errands. I am amazed at all the penny deals I can find at different stores.
Only Buy The Necessities
Sure the locker chandelier (yes, they really make that 🙂 ) is really cool looking, but we all know they don't need it. Skip all the extras and keep to the necessities. So many of those extras only make it a week or two before they are junk.
I have found that most schools will give you a list of the necessities. I usually try to skip the rest of the items. You can also talk to other parents in your school district to find out what they found useful and what to skip.
See what you have around the house that they can reuse. I try to save folders and supplies from year to year. We skipped new clothes this year but bought my kiddo a new pair of shoes. Don't feel like back to school shopping needs to include new clothes.
While there are great deals make sure you buy enough supplies to last the kids the whole year. Don't forget about stocking up on things like tissues, ziplocs, and office supplies for at home too. There are so many great deals out there now to take advantage off.
Stick To Your Budget
School supplies and clothes can really add up quick. Set a budget for what you would like to spend before you even start shopping. If your kids are old enough, share with them about the budget. Not only will it help them learn how to budget, but they can decide what is really important to them. My son really wanted a new laptop for high school until I said he would have to pay for it. Suddenly his dad's old laptop was just fine.
Buy Quality Items
If I know something is going to get used a lot I try to buy a little higher quality. When my son was little I bought him a more expensive backpack instead of a cheaper character backpack. It was worth the money, he ended up using it for 7 years. I ended up saving way more money by purchasing a higher quality backpack instead of a cheap $10 one. I have found backpacks and binders can be used for multiple years if you spend a little more to get a good quality one.
With a little bit of time back to school can be a time that is fun and doesn't break the bank. What back to school savings hacks do you use?