Parents!  Summer vacation is almost over!  It is back to school time!  If you feel unprepared and are in the process of getting your little darlings ready for school;  read this post before you start shopping.  These simple back to school money-saving (, Hayes 2016) tips will make back to school shopping easier and save time and money.

  1. Set a Budget You Can Afford

First, decide what you can realistically afford to spend on back-to-school season. Starting with a clear budget in mind, and keeping track of the money you spend on school shopping, can help keep unnecessary spending in check.

  1. Check Your Closets First

Before you buy a single crayon or box of tissues, clean out your closets. Pick a day, and have all the kids gather up every office or school supply they can find in the house. Consolidate it on the dining room table, and see what your kids can use for the upcoming school year. This goes for things like backpacks and lunch boxes, too, which you don’t really need to buy new each year, as long as they’re still in good condition. Just finding all these items and assigning them to kids can save you loads of shopping.

  1. Leverage End-of-Summer Sales

You may not be able to find everything your kids need secondhand. If that’s the case, you still don’t need to pay department store prices for brand new clothes. Instead, wait for sales. Stores like Old Navy, Target and The Children’s Place often offer steep discounts on basics like jeans, khakis and polo’s at the end of the summer.

  1. Only Get What’s On the List

Yes, your kids are going to want fancy electronics, brand-new backpacks and a bunch of other school supplies that aren’t on the list. But stick with what’s on the school supply list provided by your school to reduce your spending. 

  1. Try Dollar Stores

Before you hit up the big box stores for the school supplies you still need, try your local dollar stores. They often offer the same supplies, even name-brand art supplies, at much lower prices. You may not be able to get everything you need at the dollar store, but it’s a good place to begin.

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