It's already time for kids across the country to go back to school, and with that comes new book bags, new pencils, and several other supplies that parents need to buy. In fact, many parents spend several hundred dollars on back to school supplies every year. It might seem excessive to spend that much money for a second grader to return to class, but with budget cuts and lengthy teacher supply lists, it actually happens quite easily.
If you are facing these high costs this year, here are some tips to save on back to school supplies:
Buy in Bulk
One way to save money on back to school supplies now and for the rest of the school year is to buy in bulk. Kids go through paper and pencils quickly and so you'll likely have to continue buying them throughout the year. Instead, buy in bulk now, and you won't have to spend money on gas driving back to the store a few months from now.
Trade with Neighbors and Family Members
Get to know your neighbors. Chances are, there's an older student in the neighborhood who has grown out of his or her uniform or no longer wants his book bag from last year. Arrange a back to school block party where all the neighbors get together and trade school supplies and uniforms. Chances are if one neighbor has an older son who is willing to give up their Spiderman back to your son, others with younger kids will be interested in your hand me downs too.
If your child didn't use all of his or her notebooks the year before, recycle them. Many kids, especially older ones, are asked to buy 5 subject notebooks but only use two or three sections. You can also use pens, paper towels, or computer paper you already have in your own house instead of buying brand new ones.
Why not skip the stores this year? It's a hassle to battle the back to school crowds anyway. Online stores like Amazon often have exactly what you're looking for with free shipping. You can order things right from the comfort of your own sofa and never have to set foot in a long line again. Buying online makes it easier to use online coupon codes that might not be available in stores too.
Buy Off Brand
It's hard to get away from name brands when you have older children, but little kids have no idea what it means to have a Pottery Barn lunchbox. When your kids are small, enjoy the fact that they don't know the difference between designers. Save your money now, because you might need it when they're older!
Ultimately, saving money on back to school supplies is just as simple as saving money in your everyday life. Buying in bulk, going used, and saying no to pricier versions of products are all ways to save a little cash and save more money for your winter vacation.