Saving on School Supplies During Back-to-School Season
It’s that time of year again. Back to school spending … I mean shopping.
You know how it is. You just get used to having the extra time to spend with your kiddos and then boom! Before you know it, it’s the first day of school. I remember Summertime when we were younger always felt like it went by within the blink of an eye. (Although, I think our parents were welcoming the new school year with joy, LOL)
It’s Just so Expensive!
Thankfully for our family, our kids are homeschooled. So although they DO still need supplies, it’s no where near the average school supply list that the local school provides. Did you and I ever have lists of things we needed to bring to school each fall? I don’t remember any. But now research says, “The average family spends $688.62 to send their kid back to school.” It’s the second-largest expenditure for parents after Christmas.
And, if your kids are like ours, they are drawn to the most expensive version of school supplies, whether it’s a backpack, water bottle, or pen.
So how do you keep your budget intact, your Money Relationship humming along, and your kids happy while getting the necessary supplies?
Here are a few tips for the teacher’s pets of shoppers:
- Make a plan. Stick to the list the school gave you. Don’t get pulled into purchasing something “cool” if it’s not on the list.
- Don’t buy it all now. If they don’t need it Day 1 wait for a sale. You’ve seen the mountains of supplies at the stores. There will be “leftover” items in every category and they will mark that merchandise down to move it. Be the one who benefits from that.
- Involve your kids. Don’t let them know they’re learning, but back to school shopping is a great time to teach them about money management. Talk about the difference in the price of certain items, ask them to calculate the higher price as a percentage of the item, discuss how many hours of a job it would take to purchase backpack A versus backpack B. Use the time to help them understand more about saving and spending.
What other hacks do you practice to keep your budget intact for back-to-school shopping? Share your A+ tips in the comments. Enjoy your final days of summer.
Taylor and Megan Kovar
The Money Couple