It is hard to believe that we’re back to this time of year again! Many of you are out there braving the busy stores doing back to school shopping for your kids. It can be a stressful time of year. When the first day of school finally arrives and you can catch your breath, come on in for a relaxing massage to rejuvenate yourself! We’ll be waiting for you! Here are some ideas of ways to ease the burden on your pocket book this fall:
Shop at Bargain and Dollar Stores
Your local dollar or discount store is a great place to save money on back-to-school supplies. Name-brand versions of supplies like pencils, rulers, highlighters, scissors, erasers, folders, and notebooks may be discounted to around $1 at dollar stores. You may not find everything you need, but it’s worth a shot to see what they have in stock.
Check Out Yard Sales and Thrift Stores
If you like to bargain, then yard sales and thrift stores are your one-stop deal spots. Binders, notebooks, backpacks, lunch boxes, and other school accessories can be purchased at unheard-of prices. Many times yard sales have unused items, but if your finds have some wear and tear, a little creativity and family craft-time can bring them back to life. You can also find quality vintage accents for a dorm room, if your teen is heading off to college. Couches, nightstands, lamps, desks, and other furniture and accessories are heavily discounted there.
Use Loose-Leaf Paper
A common mistake when the school year ends is throwing away spiral notebooks — blank pages and all. Instead, use binders with loose-leaf paper. That way you use only the paper you need and can save the rest for next year. If spiral notebooks are necessary, purchase notebooks with perforated pages that rip out cleanly, so blank pages can be reused as loose-leaf.
Buy a Reusable Lunch Box
Instead of packing your child’s lunch in a new brown bag every day, pack it in a fun, reusable lunch bag that reflects her personality.
Save money on school supplies and back-to-school clothes by shopping online. Office supply companies may offer better prices online than in their stores. Be sure to look for inexpensive delivery options, to keep the overall price down. This way, you save time, gas, and money.
Have Kids Chip In
It’s amazing how much your child does not need when it comes to spending his own money. By having kids chip in on their school supplies and especially school clothes, you can save money while teaching your child a lesson in money management. Kids may even feel a sense of accomplishment, knowing that they contributed their own money.
Stock Up for Next Year
Every school season follows the same routine: School supplies are bought, kids go back to school, and then the stores put everything on sale. Retail stores tend to discount school supplies even more after the “buying season” is over. By thinking ahead and taking advantage of markdowns this year, you’re sure to save money for next year.
Most schools suggest that books be covered with a protective layer to keep them newer longer. Instead of spending money on fancy book covers, get creative with what you have at home. Extra wallpaper, old wrapping paper, newspaper, and brown-paper bags make great book covers at little or no cost. A plain cover also provides a blank canvas for kids to express themselves creatively. Forgo expensive, novelty pencil and lunch boxes, supply boxes, and binders, for plain, less expensive versions. Then let your kids dress them up with stickers, decals, and paints.
Here are some helpful links for you on everything back to school: