How to save on back-to-school expenses

Are you feeling the back to school crunch? You don’t have to spend a lot to get all you need for back to school time.

Before we know it will be time to send the kids back to school, and we all know back to school needs can be expensive. However; preparing for back to school doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune if you stick by these helpful tips.

Shop Tax-Free Weekends

Shopping on these weekends means when you make a purchase on school-related items you won’t be required to pay sales tax. To find out if your state participates in a tax-free weekend and what items qualify, visit your state’s office of taxation website.

Buy used clothing

By the end of the summer, kids may have already outgrown their old clothing so that means it’ll be time to purchase more. Check sites like eBay, Craigslist, and the Facebook Marketplace for deals on used clothing. If you’re involved with local garage sale groups check them out in addition to shopping garage and yard sales.

Shop sales and price match 

Mid-July is when all the back to school sales start and you can pick up many needed items like; crayons, pencils, and glue sticks for super cheap. Stores like Office Depot/Max, and Staples often have supplies for as low as 1 cent. Stock up on extras you may need throughout the year so you won’t have to pay more for mid-year replacements. You can always price match to avoid an added trip.

Stock up on extras

Stock up on extras for the upcoming years by shopping the sales and picking up a few items each time. This will help you gather a nice supply stockpile and you’ll be able to “shop from home” for school supplies over time.

Use coupons

Usually, you can find coupons on back to school needs online through various sources. Use coupons in conjunction with offers that may be found on Target’s Cartwheel, or store websites.

Buy in bulk

If you have a membership to a wholesale club or can share a ride with someone who does you can save big on commonly used items. You can pick up commonly requested items at great prices. Bulk shopping is perfect for items that teachers request for their classrooms.

Re-use old supplies

Re-using old school supplies can help cut down or eliminate supply costs. You can always re-use dry erase markers, scissors, and erasers you don’t have to send “brand new” supplies either.

Stick to the list

If you’re on a budget and can’t really afford to splurge on the extras that teachers are requesting that’s okay too. Chances are your child’s teacher will understand those items are just nice extras to save the teacher money. When it comes to backpacks and lunch boxes replace as needed you can always reuse or invest in more expensive products that will last longer.

Shop seasonal sales

Stock up on staples kids need like t-shirts, pants, etc that they will wear year-round.  Use these sales in conjunction with clearances, markdowns, and coupons for additional savings and buy the next size up to save end more.

Invest in a re-usable lunch system

Those plastic reusable containers and lunchbox containers are perfect for packing cold lunches. Don’t forget those small ice packs too they help keep your child’s lunch cold.

Host a back-to-school swap

You probably know other moms with children in the same age range and yours so why not host a back to school swap? A back to school swap is a sway where you bring things your child doesn’t use or wear in exchange for “new” items. This swap is not only for you to save money and reduce clutter, but it will also give the kids a chance to hang out and score new things. See this post for helpful tips on hosting a back-to-school swap.

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