Are You Ready for the School Bell to Ring?

Although we are in the middle of summer, school is just around the corner. And while the numbers vary a little, the average family will spend approximately $480-700 per child for back to school clothing, supplies, and electronics. Are you ready for those numbers?

Here are five ways to give your kids everything they need to start out the year, while keeping your spending in check.

Shop at your local dollar store 

You might be surprised at how many school supplies you can get at a dollar store near you. Everything from erasers and scissors to notebooks and crayons can be found at deeply discounted prices.

Host a clothing swap 

Kids in high school have started doing clothing swaps with their friends instead of buying new ones. Try this idea with your elementary student’s parents and host a “coffee and clothing swap.” It’s a great way to get to know other parents and save money! 

Recycle last year’s supplies 

Do you really need to buy new rulers and pencil holders? Kids like to start the year with fresh new supplies, but you can help them decide to reuse a certain number of items from the prior year – all while saving. Your kids will have a good mix of the old and new on the first day of school, plus getting your kids involved helps them understand cost and savings benefits.

Wait and get more for less

If you wait a month, most major retailers will start drastically discounting back to school clothing. Talk to your child about the opportunity to get more clothing for the year if they wait a few extra weeks for items to go on sale. Most kids are still wearing summer shorts and t-shirts to start out the year.

Beware of online shopping 

It may not be all it’s cracked up to when it comes to getting discounts by shopping online. Although we are all busy, it’s important to take into consideration taxes and shipping in the overall cost of what you are buying. You could end up paying just as much in shipping as the price of the item. Check online prices and compare to local dollar stores or discounts at big box stores.