I'm going to cling to summer until the very end (partly because we're not really taking a family vacation until the very end!) but meanwhile, the reality is that school is starting soon and some organization and preparation needs to be done. As I get my ducks in a row, I thought I'd share my five favorite back to school on a budget tips. I hope these are helpful, and feel free to share your ideas in the comments too!
1. Enlist your kids in a school supply scavenger hunt. Before you buy your school supplies, send your kids on a scavenger hunt with the list. I've done this the last couple of years with Laurel and it's a great way to get organized while saving yourself from buying things you don't need (seriously, why do we have 1,827 unsharpened #2 pencils kicking around?). Feel free to add a little incentive at the end as reward for their efforts.
2. Buy in bulk. Once you know what you actually need for school supplies, buy in bulk, either using excess supplies for your home/office stash or in tandem with other parent friends. Same goes for snack items.
3. Buy a bento lunchbox or reusable plastic containers. Save money on school lunch + packaging waste by using a reusable lunchbox system. You can get a fits-just-so bento lunchbox system, or we just use little plastic containers. Part of this is due to her personality and preference, but amazingly, Laurel has never bought school lunch in four years of elementary school!
4. Shop smart. Looking for a first day of school outfit? Look out for back to school sales or splurge on a first day of school outfit (if you dig that) and stock up on other fall basics when the big discounts hit (I, personally, usually pull the trigger at 30% and up discounts). Or dig into your local consignment stores for treasures.
5. Swap with friends and family. This summer has been all about recycling in our house...baby and toddler clothes outbound and hand me downs for Laurel and Violet inbound. It has been totally awesome.
Do you have other great back to school budget tips? Feel free to share in the comments!
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