Summer is quickly ending, and it's time for children to return to school. While children groan and grumble at the sight of their "fun in the sun" coming to a close, parents also feel the stress and unpleasantries that come with the beginning of a new school year- the need for new clothes, a million pencils, pens, markers, crayons, scissors, and more. Aside from the typical list, individual teachers can demand a lot as well- sometimes asking that each class have its own separate color coded binder. So while you’re battling store lines and already picked-through shopping aisles, check out these tips on saving money for this year's list.
- Buy a durable, but plain backpack and let your child spend the day decorating it. Based on the findings of customer reviews, many people have found they prefer the JanSport, LEGO, and Everest brand backpacks. Once you've picked out the bag, decorate it with your child and watch their creative side come out. Local craft stores such as A.C. Moore and Michael's carry all kinds of craft supplies such as; Glitter Glue, paint, ribbons, beads, and pipe cleaners. Before you go, make sure to look for craft store coupons in the Sunday newspaper.
- Sell back old clothes at local consignment shops and use that money to help replace their wardrobe with clothes that fit now. Children grow so fast that keeping up with what fits and what doesn’t sometimes seems impossible. Have them try on their old school clothes to see what fits and sell back the rest. Even if the consignment shop doesn't buy everything, every bit helps.
- Shopping at thrift stores, yard sales, and clothing swaps is another helpful option when buying clothes for your children. Check out this list of clothing events in the area. Be sure to check the condition of the clothes before you buy them to get the most out of your money.
- As suggested by the Huffington Post, apps such as Retail-Me-Not and Target’s Cartwheel app offer great discounts and coupons. You can download these apps for free and find out what discounts they offer for school supplies.
- Even Women’s Day Online Magazine offers ideas for back-to-school savings. One suggestion includes simply taking an inventory of what school supplies your children still have. No need to go out and buy a bunch of school supplies if you already have them.
Check out the links for extra money-saving tips!