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Whether your child attends public or private school, back-to-school season can get expensive. School supplies like pencils, paper, and notebooks are must-haves. Then, once you’ve filled their backpacks, it’s time to fill their closets — to replace all the outgrown, worn-out clothes from the year before, not to mention new running shoes and boots for fall. It all adds up quickly.
So what’s a parent to do? Make back-to-school more affordable by following these budget tips.
Before you shop for new, make sure your students use any supplies that they have leftover from last year. Some kids come home at the end of the school year with entire unopened packs of crayons, or extra glue sticks that were never used. Older students can reuse sturdy folders and pens. You may find that you don’t have to buy new materials this semester.
If you do need to buy classroom supplies, look for them in bulk. Your children will always need pencils, pens, and paper, so stock up on them during bulk sales. In many cases, the more you buy, the more you save. Set aside the extras for next year.
You may end up spending a little more money this year, but you will spend less on materials next year and beyond. Check out the Best Credit Cards for Back to School for a purchase like this.
At least 16 states have tax holidays before the start of the school year to help parents save money on items like:
Tax holidays are like an instant discount — up to 7.25% in some states. Note that some states have limits on how much you can save during their back-to-school tax holidays. Also, remember that the tax savings only apply to purchases for students. Here are a few other ways to save on your back to school shopping list.
Retail stores know that they have to compete against each other during the back-to-school season. Many of them use coupons to lure in more consumers.
Check out mailers, your local newspaper, and online coupon sites to compare savings at different stores.
On average, school lunch costs about $2.50. Some school districts charge shockingly high prices, though. One school in California charges students nearly $7 per meal!
No matter how much your school charges, you can save money by packing a lunch. Keep your kids interested by learning some new, easy recipes.
You’ll do more than save money. You’ll probably give your children more nutritious meals than schools serve.
Bonus tip: leftovers make great school lunches!
The new school year doesn’t have to strangle your wallet. Back to school tips so you can spend as little money as possible without depriving your kids of the things they need to succeed.