Let’s be honest, back-to-school shopping may easily be the best part about going back to school! But with multiple kiddos to buy for, it can get very expensive. There’s a statistic that states an average American family can spend over $600 during this season! If you have children in college who need textbooks and dorm accessories, that could easily double. Here are some creative and cost-effective ways to make that end of summer shopping just as enjoyable.
Utilize What You Already Have
You may not realize it, but there’s a chance you already have school supplies in the house! An in-home office is a great place for kids to find old binders and folders that are never going to get used again and re-decorate or repurpose them. It can make a way to teach children how to make something their own and can even free up much-needed space in the office as well.
Trends are Fluid
If last year’s pencil box is just as functional as it was when it was first purchased, do not opt for a stylish brand new one that they are bound to get sick of in another 3 months. It’s a vicious cycle not worth getting caught up in. If it works, keep what you have. Kids can be very competitive in nature and change their minds quickly – seeing their friends have something trendier than them, trying to keep up, will just be throwing cash down the drain.
The good news is that trends tend to recycle. An example of this would be a metal lunch box. A very old design that was not really seen during the childhood of most Millennials; these have made a strong comeback in the last five years or so as a popular collector’s item.
End of Summer Sales
Before you rush to the advertised back-to-school clothing section – usually long-sleeved and autumnal in style – check out the summer clearance section first. These are going to be the cheapest because of the closing season. Kids typically wear t-shirts well into fall and even early winter, depending how they layer their clothes. The difference in style is not going to be that drastic and can be accommodated for colder temperatures. For example, if a girls’ brightly colored summer dress is on clearance, find a neutral pair of leggings that can match. Throughout the year, solid-colored layering pieces can be anybody’s best friend.
Stick to the List
Your child may want to buy extra supplies, but if they are not on the list chances are an opportunity to use them in school may never present itself. Tip: a lot of notebooks, pencils, erasers, crayons, etc, can be located at the local grocery store for much cheaper than well-known department stores. When it comes to simple school supplies, try to find as many as you can the next time you go grocery shopping. It could potentially save not just money, but time as well! If the local grocery store does not have everything you need, also check out your local dollar store. Not only do they have a wider selection, but a lot of them have fun and colorful themes.
Don’t Just Buy, Sell!
If your child does not have younger siblings or cousins of the same gender to give their outgrown clothes to, sell them online for cheap. The little extra work it takes is a win-win: you get the items out of the house to make more room and you make a few bucks. Gently used clothing, especially name-brand, can be in high demand when other parents like yourselves are trying to find cheaper clothes online.
If you aren’t that internet-savvy, garage sales can be used to sell unwanted items and also buy used clothing. End of summer is the perfect time to hold a garage sale and to go shopping in them. If you have lots of children in your neighborhood, you might be surprised on how much you can find and sell!
Go back to school in style and save money. Regardless of house size and ages of kids, end of summer shopping can be a breeze!