Who’s ready for back to school? Who wants to save on back to school shopping?
I’m the mom who counts down the days for back to school. I love my kids, and summer is fun and all, but after two months we are all ready for school to start again.
Playing with kids who aren’t our siblings.
Taking instruction from someone other than me.
A quieter and emptier house.
I’m all smiles once school heads back in Septemeber!
I don’t mind packing the lunches and rushing them out the door each morning, because when I come home, the house is still and quiet with *just* one kid. As an introvert, I need that quiet solitude. As much as I try to keep them reading and playing board games, in camps, and outside playing basketball, their summer days often involve screens. A school day full of excitement and interest and learning is what they need. I’m all for summer breaks and letting them rest after a long school year. And two months isn’t that long. But by the middle of August, I’m itching for them to head back.
Back to school can be an expensive time of year. New shoes and clothes, backpacks and lunch bags. And as your children get older, the cost of school supplies rises too. Glue sticks and crayons are replaced with laptops!
So how do you save money on back to school?!
My biggest tip to save on school supplies is to look through what you have in the house. We have a big cabinet full of school/office/craft supplies. I had my kids find their pencil cases and fill them with whatever supplies they think they will need. This year, I didn’t have to buy anything new! My son might get a list from his teacher the first week of school, asking for specific things he might need, like certain binders or notebooks, but other than that, we are good to go.
Their bigger items from last year are also still in great shape. School bags, lunch bags, and water bottles are all still fine! More savings!
Thankfully 3 of my children have summer/early fall birthdays so most of their new fall clothes are provided thanks to Grandmas and Aunties. I usually buy them a new shirt for the first day, and that’s it. Most of their first month of school is spent in summer clothes anyways, and after their birthdays I look through their closets to see how many pants and long sleeve tees they need for the fall. And hand me downs work great for my younger two kids. This saves a lot of money for us.
Shoes will be our biggest expense this year, as it is most years. My kids are required to have indoor and outdoor shoes. This means a comfy pair of athletic shoes they wear in the classroom, and appropriate outdoor shoes for the season (athletic shoes, rain boots, snow boots).
My youngest daughters shoes from last year are still in good shape. My older daughter got new running shoes for her summer camp, so she will just need indoor shoes, and my oldest son needs two pairs of running shoes. They will all need new winter boots, and really good ones too, since we moved further north where its colder for longer and there’s more snow. They are also all going to need new snowsuits. So I might be getting off easy for back to school, but things will get expensive when I go to buy their winter gear!
What if you have lots to buy?!
If you do need to purchase items for BTS, make sure you are watching for sales, checking flyers and price matching. Just becuase one store has an item on sale, doesn’t mean its the best price. Shop around!
Buying in bulk can also save you money. Lots of school supplies come in larger packs, which your kids can pull from all year long. Buying larger amounts now can save you money later in the year if you run out, or even cut down on buying next year.
If you’ve got tweens and teens that insist on certain more expensive items, find a way for them to earn the money to buy it themselves, or split the cost. Learning the value of a dollar is so important, and they might even take better care of it if they had to pay for it!
How do you save on back to school? I’d love to hear!