While the back-to-school season doesn’t require buying gifts or making large meals, it’s still an expensive time of year. It’s easy to spend too much on clothes and school supplies, but there are also ways parents can save money.
Shop the Sales
Most stores have some kind of back-to-school sale. Some offer lower prices on pens and paper during the last few weeks of August. Others have early-bird specials on kids’ clothes. Parents should consider rounding up all the recent sales fliers to decide where to buy each item.
Boring is Sometimes Better
Children love buying things with their favorite characters on them, but this is often much more expensive than buying plain items. Parents can save tons of money if they stick to buying yellow pencils and sold colored folders.
Depending on where parents and children shop, new jeans could be almost ten times more expensive than ones from the thrift store. After wearing them a few times, kids won’t even remember where they got their clothes, anyway.
Many children don’t need new clothes at the beginning of the school year. If they have clothes that are appropriate for the weather and still fit, there’s no need to buy more.
Kids might not be too thrilled when they are told they aren’t going to get new clothes or “cool” school supplies. Parents and children can come to a compromise buy agreeing to buy one new outfit and a lunchbox with TV characters on it, but not wasting money on expensive notebooks or pencils.
When money is really tight, any expense is too much expense. If a child’s school doesn’t send a school supplies list, students can probably get by with using supplies in the classroom. Most teachers have spare scissors and glue sticks available for children to use.
If a family has more than one child, younger children can use older siblings’ outgrown clothes, backpacks, and lunchboxes. This is a great way to get school supplies without spending a dime.
The back-to-school season may be expensive, but there are lots of ways to cut the cost. Whether parents choose to buy cheaper new supplies or get used items from older siblings or the thrift store, their children will be getting an education, and that’s the important thing.