Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School Ideas

in just a few short weeks, sooner for others, our kids will be heading back to school. While I love my kids and usually hanging out with them is great, August is the month where boredom enters the picture and they start whining, nagging, and arguing. So back to school is not a sad event around here, it's a happy event, and not just for the adults. The kids look forward to school starting, seeing friends they didn't see over the summer, and getting fresh, new school supplies. This year, with the economy in the toilet, many people, myself included, are really having to pinch their pennies and watch how their back to school funds are divvied up.

I've included some tips here for saving on back to school shopping, at the end you will find some links to more information. Good luck with your back to school adventures!

Make a List
Be sure to have you child's school supply list with you when you head off to purchase supplies. Many, if not most schools have their own website now, and often times you can download the list right from their website. If not, call the school, they usually open back up around the first week of August, and they can get a list for you. Don't shop blind, it can be very costly!

Check What You Have on Hand
Whether it's back packs, school supplies, or clothing, be sure to go through what you have on hand before heading off to the store. Throughout the year, whenever standard supplies go on sale (three holed paper, spiral notebooks, No. 2 pencils, crayons, etc) I always grab a few as extras. I don't think I've ever experienced a school year (my oldest is 17 now) where the supplies you buy at the beginning of  the school year are all you will ever need. It's common to need more loose leaf paper, pencils (Oh the pencils!), erasers, and glue throughout the year for homework and projects. So be sure to take inventory of your stash before heading out.

Check Store Fliers
Stores know that they have competition, so they are famous for drawing you in and placing half the items you need at the best price, then pricing the rest at a little more than the competition. If you take some time and go through the fliers, you can find what you need and shop different stores to get the best prices. Obviously this is not cost effective if you spend more gas traveling to far away stores. 

Trade, Hand Me Downs, Yard Sales and Craigslist
A few ways to really save on clothes, shoes and backpacks is to trade with neighbors and relatives, hand down clothes to younger siblings, and check garage sales. Another option is craigslist. Craigslist is an online classified site, just follow their precautionary guidelines if you have never used their site before. 

See more great ideas on Conquering Back to School Spending

other articles you may like:
10 Ways to Save on School Gear
Back to School Gear For Less

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