How to Nail School Shopping on a Budget!

A special visiting post by Kris Louis: Parentingwithkris.com
kristin@parentingwithkris.com

While many of us are quarantining at home, online shopping has become the norm. Following the initial rush for groceries and cleaning supplies, shopping goals have shifted to entertainment, home improvement and supplies for children’s activities. Now is a great time to look for deals that keep your family ready for summer and whatever comes this fall.

Before school can start again, kids may need to stock up on paper, pens, clothing, snacks, accessories— the list goes on and on. How can parents juggle their kids’ wants with their family’s financial needs? These tips can help you strike that balance.

Securing a Fashionable Look
As everyone who was once a child knows, there are few things quite as vital as making sure you look great on your first day back at school after a break (however long that break may be!) That said, making sure your kids get to show off their new style for the new year can get pricey. Consider checking out local secondhand shops; since kids grow out of clothes fast, you’re likely to find items that are as good as new. You can also look at shops like Old Navy, which have good-quality items at a super affordable price point. Check for online deals and coupons to save even more.

Stocking Up on Snacks
This spring, we might have been able to skip making packed lunches every morning. Once school’s back on, however, (and even if we are delayed through the fall), we’ll need to be able to make easy lunches. Individually packed snacks can make this process a lot faster. However, these can get pricey quickly, even if you’re buying food in larger amounts.

A great way to save money on these kinds of snacks is to actually buy them in bulk rather than individually packed. For example, you could buy several bags of nuts, raisins, and some chocolate candies and mix them all up to make a trail mix. Distribute them into plastic baggies,
and you’ve got a ton of trail mix ready to grab and go.

Pencils, Pens, Paper, etc.
When it comes to the everyday goods your kids will need at school, your first step should be taking inventory. There’s a good chance you already have a lot of what you need. Folders and binders may still be in good enough shape to use again, and who knows how many packs of
loose-leaf paper you have around the house. By taking stock of what you already have at home, you can avoid buying excess supplies for the upcoming year.

Once you know what you need, focus on trying to find the best deals. More often than not, you can save money by buying in bulk. However, this isn’t a sure thing. Pay close attention to prices and consider opening up your phone’s calculator to check that you’ll spend less buying a bigger box of pens or pencils than you would buying several of the smaller packs. Usually, it’s a better deal to go big, but you can save a couple of bucks by catching when it isn’t.

Finally, keep your eye out for sales on school supplies, and try to hit them earlier in the day if you can. Back-to-school shopping can leave you afraid for your wallet, but it doesn’t have to. Make the effort to find budget-friendly ways to get everything your kids need. By looking for great deals, focusing on what you already have, and making room for some frugal thinking, you’ll be able to make back-to-school shopping as budget-friendly as possible!

Tuesday, 5 May 2020 1:13 PM

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