15 Back to School Money Saving Tips

Growing up my mom used to say that August was the most expensive month besides Christmas. Back to school shopping can be expensive.  However, there are ways to be purposeful with your shopping that will save your wallet big time and your sanity too!  I have rounded up my 15 best back to school money saving tips for today’s post because who doesn’t love to save money?

15 Back to School Money Saving Tips

1 – Buy high-quality.  

We love Pottery Barn and Herschel for backpacks.  Did you know you can wash your backpack in the washing machine?  Empty the backpack inside and out, spot treat with a stain treater and then place on a gentle, cold cycle in the washer.  Hang dry!  We had my son’s backpack for 5 years and the only reason we replaced it was because he needed a bigger bag!  

We love Lands End and North Face for winter gear.  Last year, I went cheap and I ended up spending what I would have on one coat on two and both were broke by the end of the year.  I usually get 2 years and can pass it on with a higher quality coat.  Buy gender neutral boot and snow pants so you can pass them down to other children.  Grey, navy or black show less dirt and are great for both girls or boys!

2 – Take inventory of your closet first. 

Check out your kids’ closets and make a list of what your kids actually need for the upcoming season and next year so you can stay focused and save money while shopping.  Your kids might not need new shoes, don’t buy them if they don’t need them!

3 – Shop sales.  

Most sites like Pottery Barn and Lands End have sales.  Don’t pay full price, they will have a sale.  Temporarily join the store’s email list or check their website often.  Generally, they have sales over the weekends so check back on Friday!

4- Always buy a size up!  

When shopping for winter gear, I always size up.  If my kid is currently wearing a size 2 shoe, I buy a size 3.  If they are currently a size 10 shirt, I buy a size 12 coat.  Lands End coats have built-in sleeve extenders that help you maximize the life of your coat.

5 – Avoid personalization and monograms.  

It’s easy to resell or pass on if it’s not personalized.  It’s also safer to not have your child’s name printed on their backpack.

6 – Shop ahead for next season.  

Take advantage of the end of season sales and stock up for next season.  The steepest discounts happen at the end of the season both at major retailers and consignments stores.

7 – Take advantage of tax-free weekend.  

Most states offer a tax-free weekend on school supplies and apparel right before school starts.  In Iowa, ours is the first full weekend in August!  

8 – Use Coupons & Price-matching.

Before you buy, scan the item to make sure you are getting the best deal.  Sites like Amazon have a barcode reader and will pull up the item.  If it’s cheaper, take that to the store’s register and ask for a price match.  If they can’t do it at the register, they should be able to at customer service.  Most stores will honor their competitor’s coupons.  It’s always worth asking!

9 – Inventory school supplies before shopping.   

What items are still in working condition?  Use what you have first.  Cross it off the list so you don’t accidentally buy it again.  If that white binder looks a little beat-up from last year, scrub it clean with a Mr. eraser and it will be good as new.  Wash the pencil box with a little soap and water and it will be sparkly clean.

Stock up during sales on school supplies for the year or for your kids’ classroom!

10 – Shop discount stores & Consignment Stores.   

Places like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are a great place to get name brand clothing for less.  Consignment stores are another great place to shop.  Take your old clothes in to consign and use the money you earned to buy this year’s wardrobe.

11 – Make a list and stick to it.

This seems simple enough but how often do you throw something extra in?  All those extras add up!

12 – Before you shop, make a game plan.  

When making your list, write down the store names and under each store write the item you are going to purchase there.  Check the weekly ads for the best deals to know what to get where! Remember, the more places you shop, the more likely you are going to find extras (or is that just me?) so be purposeful about sticking to your list!

13 – Do not wait until the last minute.  

Take it from me, I did that my first year and it was a nightmare.  The plastic primary colored pocket folders I needed were sold out so I paid way more.  Shop early!

14 – Shop online and use pick-up options.  

Walmart and Target both offer it and it’s a great way to stay on budget and not get sidetracked by the awesome items, not on your list.  Target will even populate your school list online and you can pick up!  How cool is that?

15 – Make a budget and keep track of what you spend.  

Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to buy the school supply pack from the school.  This year, we used what we had and then purchased about $50 worth of school supplies for two kids which is less than what I would have paid for the supplies.

 

What back to school money saving tips do you have?  It can be an expensive time of year but it can totally be done on a budget.  It’s hard to believe school is almost back in session, summer sure has flown by in a hurry!  Our supply shopping is done so now we will celebrate with sleeping in and spending our days at the pool!  Below, I am sharing a few of our favorite back to school essentials!

 

Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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Linking up with Andrea and Becky – check out their blogs for more fun!

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