family with their back to school supplies

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How to Save on Back-to-School for Parents and Kids

If you’re in a two-for-one mode and both you and your child are in school, you could probably use a few pointers on how to save money on back-to-school supplies. We’ve got them:

Take inventory. What’s better than free? You may already own what you need. It’s just hiding. Check closets and drawers, basements and backpacks. Before you spend penny number one, make a list of what you have. Then decide what you actually need. Bonus idea?  Have your family and friends who aren’t in school do the same. They’ve got it. You need it. Why waste good stuff?

Go on a yard sale scavenger hunt. Fall yard sales pop up faster than spring weeds! Take a look and see what they have to offer. Calculators, lunch boxes and bags, backpacks, art supplies, binders, rulers, and more, often make their way to garages before they get tossed to the curb. Be creative. Old desks can be easily repaired and empty plastic bins can be great school time organizers.

Check out the dollar stores. A number 2 pencil is a number 2 pencil. So why spend twice the price at a brand name office supply chain? Same goes for notebooks, folders, binders, pens, and the like. You can save lots of money on lots of items if you know where to shop—and when. Don’t forget to check out sale days and coupon items.

Buy in bulk. When it’s you and your kids going to school, you need twice the supplies (or more), so buy more of what you need—and share. Sure it’s great to share with your own children, but what about neighbors and friends? If you all need notebooks, take advantage of big box stores that offer discounts when you buy more of one product and divvy up the supplies and share the cost.

Set serious limits. Just because your kids want the latest five second trends, doesn’t mean you have to buy in. Instead of throwing money away on things you and your children don’t need, set dollar value limits on what each of you get to shell out for back-to-school stuff. Make it a game and see if you can get the most for the least. You’ll be setting a great example about what really matters and you could even purchase some shareable treats with the savings.

With all you have to think about when you go back to school, the price of supplies should not be one more. You’re busy enough. For other ways to save money, check out this Charter College blog post today.