Well, hello new friends!
Jordan Page from Fun Cheap or Free and Budget Boot Camp, here. Can you believe it? Back-to-school is right around the corner! Having two kids in school means I have double the school supplies to buy (not to mention clothes, ahhh!). To help soften the blow of the never ending expenses that come with sending our children back, I have three simple tips to share on how to save money on school supplies!
BUY THIS, NOT THAT
Sending your kids loose in Walmart with their school supply list may sound refreshing, but they may come back with tootsie rolls, bubblegum, and Sprite instead of erasers, pencils and glue. I suggest setting up a budget (in advance!) and going shopping with your kiddo; but let them take the driver's seat -- use the experience as a teaching moment. Give them their budget in cash, and put it in an envelope -- if they are too young to manage that on their own, then keep it in your wallet, but the cash part is key. When they go to grab the tootsie rolls, take that amount out of their envelope, and remind them that means their budget won't allow them to get the pencils and glue, which are the supplies they really need! It will give them life-skills they can use in the future... and watching the money disappear will have an impact you can't replicate! It won't work for every child, so if they still think the tootsie rolls are a good idea, you may need to use your mom voice, and steer them back in the right direction.
DON'T GO OVERBOARD
Back to school sales can be so appealing! Scissors, glue and markers, oh my! While it may seem helpful to load your cart up with these affordable staples to donate to your child's class chances are, it's probably not.
Classrooms are small, and students can be distracted with all the "extras". Keep your shopping to the teacher's list, and ask if there is anything additional they may need donated to help spare him or her the cost of buying it themselves. Tissues, Clorox Wipes, and hand sanitizer are common donations we see our teacher's request... so tip here, is just ask what they need!
SPREAD IT OUT
It can be expensive to buy everything your child may need for school all at once. Throughout the year, watch the sales, and buy the basics as you see them drop in price.
Using the Flipp app is a great resource to help you shop sales without breaking a sweat! You will find, when you keep your eyes peeled, that everything goes on sale at one point or another!
*A great tip is to leave a search item in your Shopping List and check back from time to time. The app will automatically search for the sales in your area week over week, so you don't have to! As you shop the sales, you can build up a stockpile, and save on the stuff you know they're bound to need anyway! (Paper, notebooks, pencils, markers, glue sticks... you know the drill!)
So there you go!
Those are my three simple ways to save money on school supplies! I have billions of additional ideas over on Fun Cheap or Free and share all my budgeting secrets on Budget Boot Camp so check them all out, and enjoy your kiddos!
If you have any additional tips on saving on school supplies, let us know below!