School is almost back in session, which means it’s time to sharpen your pencils and stuff your backpacks with books! The beginning of each new school year calls for a fresh set of supplies and accessories, a trendy new wardrobe, and an updated tablet or laptop.
School supplies don’t come cheap. On average, parents spend about $597 on back-to-school shopping for just one child. For college students, that number jumps to about $1,366.
It can be tricky to keep your spending under control around this time of the year, but it isn’t impossible! Whether you’re shopping for your kindergartener or high schooler, these back-to-school shopping hacks will help you save a few extra dollars while setting your child up for success this semester.
First, scour your home for school supplies before hitting the stores. Chances are, there are probably some leftover pens and paper lying around.
Last year’s backpack and lunchbox probably just need a thorough cleaning, and old binders are usually sturdy enough to endure another school year. Reusing stuff you already own doesn’t just put dollars back into your pocket; it’s also great for the environment.
Another way to reduce your impact on the environment and cut down on costs is to stop buying plastic baggies for your child’s lunches. They might seem cheap at first, but all those purchases add up. Opt for reusable containers instead.
If you need to buy new gear, make sure it’s high-quality so you won’t have to buy a different backpack every couple of years or so. Also, don’t give in to your child’s latest obsession with certain TV characters, because as you know, their tastes will probably change soon enough.
Plus, the supplies imprinted with their favorite characters always cost more. Instead, buy stickers or keychains your kids can use to dress up their supplies. They’ll have tons of fun decorating stuff to their own liking, and later, the additions can be removed if desired.
Additionally, you can purchase items second-hand. You’ll likely uncover treasures you can get for a bargain at thrift stores or garage sales.