back to school

Save Money on Back to School: Best Tips to Save on Supplies, Clothes and Lunches

It is that time of year where the excitement of summer is waning.  Everyone has been sunburnt and spent plenty of time by water.  Brothers and sisters everywhere have had enough, and mom and dad can’t wait for a few minutes of peace.  It is time for back to school shopping!  But it is also time to go easy on that checkbook and save money on back to school necessities!

The 2 Biggest Tips to Save Money on Back to School.

  1. Have a Plan
  2. Have a Budget

It shouldn’t be a surprise that back to school is coming, so be prepared.  Do your best to plan for what will be needed.  Take inventory of what you have around the house and what is hiding in those closets.

Always have a budget to work from.  This will keep you from overspending on everything.  If you have to put more money into a backpack this year, you may need to spend a little less on clothes or supplies.  It will keep your spending in check.  You also can spread out the spending between a few months so that you don’t feel it all at once.  I start shopping in July and go through September to get everything.

Back to School Savings

How to Save on Back to School Supplies

My Pro Tip:  Recycle materials from the year before with a makeover.  crayonsWhen kids bring home that bag overflowing at the end of the school year with all of their used supplies, I try to keep as much as I can for the following year.  To give notebooks a fresh new look, I simply rip out the used pages, and then use duct tape or kids original art pieces taped to the front to give it a makeover.  Now no one else will have a notebook like them.  You can do this with folders, pencils, etc.

Here are also some of my favorite tips on saving on supplies.

Have you ever considered a supply swap with friends or family?  Check out Money Crashers and their 16 tips to save big.

Get real advice from an actual teacher.  Joyfully Thriving has 7 additional tips to save.

Save on early sales, and late sales.  Check out Organized Living and how they even start holiday shopping with school supplies.

How to Save on Back to School Clothes

My Pro Tip:  Don’t Stress about lots of new clothes. I used to work in a public school, and the first day is always filled with new shoes, new backpacks, and new clothes.  I agree, that the first day is a special day, but by Thursday of that first week, no one is paying attention to clothes.  At this point, everything looks new to everyone.

Shoes and Clothes

Don’t stress about new clothes.  Instead, make sure that your kids have the staples of their wardrobe that they need.  They don’t all need to be bought before the first day of school.  Plenty of sales will continue to happen through the fall.

Need more inspiration on how to save with clothes?

Check out the Penny Pinchin Mom.  Absolutely love the ideas here.  I shop thrift stores all the time and try to stock up on the professional sports team shirts.  These are classic staples of the wardrobe.

Have you thought about asking friends to sell their clothes to you?  Saves them time and stress so you might get a deal!  The Penny Hoarder has this and 7 other smart ways to save on clothes.

Tuesdays and Fridays are better days to go shopping and get deals.  Who would have thought?  Well, check out The Krazy Koupon Lady and her other 15 tips to save.

Shoes.  I love them, but they can be so expensive.  The New Jersey Family has 8 tips just to save on shoes!  Don’t forget to check them out.

How to Save on School Lunches

My Pro Tip:  Pack lunches from home.  This can drastically save money, especially if you are buying your supplies in bulk.Child eating

Other ways to make packing lunches from home a success. 

Check out the Money Saving Mom on tips to make your own Lunchables and get kids involved!

Meat and cheese sushi rolls?  Kasey Trenum has kids who love them!  Creative ideas to be organized with areas to save.

The Taylor House has 10 ways that I even want to use to save money on my work lunches.

The Budgetnista wants you to keep those lunches healthy with these 5 tips.

Back to School Savings – Simplified.

All of these tips are fantastic and easy to incorporate.  Just remember to simplify your life as much as possible.  Two main steps.

  1. Plan
  2. Have a Budget

If you simplify and only shop at one store to get it all done, you can still save.  You just need to have a plan to optimize your shopping and use a budget to help you balance the purchases.   Back to School should be a fun time for all.  Don’t stress about the money!

Back to School Savings

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