If you are like most parents, you are already feeling the crunch of school supplies. This time of year sends all of us searching for ways to save money on a tight budget. The school supplies lists are not getting any shorter, right? Fortunately, there are a number of really easy tips to save money that you can take advantage of. Here are some that have helped me the most over the years:
Take a good inventory before you shop
Every home that has children has school supplies laying around somewhere. Gather up what you already have and mark it off the list. Your kids may pitch a fit for not getting the latest fluorescent pencils that shoot glitter on cue, but you will save a fortune by gathering your supplies and using them. Convince your kid that you will invest the money back into something even better than glowing pencils.
Go shopping alone
Taking the kids along is great and all if you enjoy pulling your hair out and having to make the occasional scene in the middle of Walmart. Instead, leave the kiddos at home and shop with a bit of sanity this school year. I have no awesome statistics to prove it, but I am guessing that you spend more with your kid begging by your side.
Hate to shop at all?
Consider getting a pre-made back to school supply pack from Amazon.com! They are really convenient and get shipped right to your door.
Work off of the list
Just like when we go grocery shopping, lists are our friends. In fact, try to walk with your head down, ignoring all the impulse items that they put in your path. While that might not be practical, keeping a school supply list and sticking to it is a great way to save money when you are on a budget.
Buy the staples in bulk
It might cost a bit when you first do it, but in the long run you will save a ton of cash. Find the best possible deal and stock up on pencils, notebook paper, erasers and the like. You will end up on the plus side by keeping these in stock.
Host a back to school sharing cookout
This is a great little idea and it will help all of those other parents that are struggling too. Invite all the parents over for a cookout and have them bring all the extras they have. Most families will have a surplus of something back to school related and the odds are decent that there is a need with another family for it. This also works great for back to school clothes and anything related.
Saving money on back to school supplies is really just about using what you have, working and shopping smart and keeping to the basics. Once you have bought all the must-haves, then you can talk with the kids about buying some of the extras without worrying about busting your budget!