Current Projects

  • Couponing like crazy!
  • Turning Junk into Treasure!
  • Saving Plastic Bottles from Landfills!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Back to School Series *SPENDING*

Here are some great tips from All you magazine, designed to slash your back to school spending!
** Start at home** You might be surprised by how many supplies are already in your house. Send the kids on a scavenger hunt; whoever finds the most items on the teacher's list gets a prize.

**Leave the kids home** You're more apt to avoid impulse buys if your daughter isn't there begging for a Justin Bieber notebook. Want to treat your children to a few items? Make a separate trip.

**Get classics for free** Many of the world's great works of literature and philosophy can be downloaded for no cost and printed in a variety of formats at

**Make one trip to shop at a store that price-matches.**
Staples, Office Depot and Office Max all have price-match policies, meaning if you see an advertised price on a certain item, any of the three businesses will honor that figure (including instant rebates). So pore over the circulars, then save gas money by heading to the nearest retailer. (Walmart is my favorite price-matching locale)

**Hold out** No one needs 18 new fall outfits on the first day of school. Transition summer clothes by layering until stores start discounting their autumn collections (usually about a month in).

**Swap before you shop** In addition to holding a clothing exchange with other parents-or through a website such as consider selling old sports equipment and instruments and using the credit or cash to buy the next size at used

**Calculate the cost** Think ahead to when your children will need pricey upgrades, like a graphing calculator. If your kids are responsible with their supplies, consider skipping the cheaper model and purchasing one they can use for several years.

**Reuse basics** Why buy new every year? Opt for plastic folders, dividers and binders instead of flimsy cardboard ones. If last year's spiral notebooks aren't used up, tear out the old pages and decorate a new cover.

**Work the warranty** If you're in the market for a new backpack or jacket, buy one that comes with a lifetime warranty. L.L. Bean, Land's End and REI are among the companies that will fix or replace worn merchandise for the entire life of the product. So if a backpack gives out in a year, or even 10 years from now, you can pick out a replacement for free.

**Go green** According to the Sierra Club, American families spend, on average, $85 per year on disposable plastic baggies. Show your children the value of a waste-free lunch-and save money-by investing in reusable snack and sandwich bags from sites such as

**Shop for the long haul** When choosing school supplies, price isn't the only factor. Select quality products that are likely to last.

One of these that I am already trying to incorporate is the "go green" tip. I am out of sandwich bags and haven't been able to find a sale. It's driving me crazy! I am trying really hard to get used to using tupperware. I have so many sizes and shapes. I need to use them! I will still keep my out for a good deal on baggies, but you know I love to recycle when possible, so I will continue to try going the reusable route as much as possible.
This is my first year buying school supplies for anyone other than myself. I've been a bit nervous, but the more research I'm doing for this blog series, the more I am finding that it doesn't have to be an overwhelming situation. I will start with a budget and then go from there. I will of course report on my progress. 
That reminds me! There are some fabulous sales on girls' clothing at Kmart right now. I saw them the other day but didn't spring for them as I hadn't decided on a budget yet. Check em out!!

1 comment:

  1. i buy one new outfit for the first day of school. I buy more as the weather gets colder and after school starts as that is when a lot of the fall outfits go on sale. Addy wears her shorts from the summer to school until it turns colder. Also don't go crazy on school supplies...most teachers supply a lot of it. I buy the crayons, pencils, a few paper notebooks, markers, and that is about it for homework and I keep some for birthday parties. Other than that I don't buy a lot. I normally only spend about $30 total on an outfit and supplies for my girl. Good luck.