Finding Freedom Friday: Cutting Back to School Costs

by GettingFreedom on August 7, 2009

The summer has flown by, and sadly school season is soon to start. I haven’t accomplised half of the things I wanted to by summers end this year, but that is probably a good thing. This summer has been absolutely crazy–I can’t imagine packing it with anymore. I’m really looking forward to the weeks to come so that I can relax, breathe a bit, and get back into our normal routine of things around here.

Unfortunately with a new school year approaching, that means new school supplies and usually a new wardrobe. Oftentimes we focus too much on the stuff and not the purpose, and in the process end up with “things” and spend far too much money. Just because it is school season doesn’t mean you have to break the bank!

Here are my tips to saving:

  • Reuse school supplies. Now I don’t mean make your children use the same dingy crayons from last year–I may be frugal, but I’m not cheap and out to embarass my kids! Some ideas of things to reuse are: Rulers (my oldest has used the same ruler for 2 years straight, and you can’t tell), school box (we bought a plastic school box for the kids last year, and it still looks like new), scissors, and backpacks.
  • Shop Thrift Stores. When school was getting ready to start last year, I hit a thrift store up by my hometown and ended up with all the clothes my kids could need and more. Every single piece of clothing was name brand (most of them jeans for DD) and I even bought 3 pairs of shoes. Not one of them looked used, there were no stains/rips. In the end there were about 3 brown paper grocery sacks crammed full and I paid less than $30 for all of it! This year, today as a matter of fact, I am doing the same (although I am going to a different town)–there is no reason to pay full price for something when I can pay less than 25%!
  • Watch Those Sales and Stock Up! At the start of every school season, Walmart as well as many other retailers, put all their school supplies on a major markdown. When you are able to catch it–STOCK UP! Having those extras around will come in handy if they run out mid-school year (instead of paying full price) or to keep around for the following year. I still have about half a box of spiral notebooks from last year (that I caught for 5¢! I even used some as a Christmas gift to my oldest because he loves the things.) and tons of pens and highlighters that I got for free from Walgreen’s last year.
  • Remember their Purpose! There are always going to be those big, fancy top of the line school supplies/school clothes out there, and while they may be tempting to get because they are “cool”–do you need them??? Does the lower level counterpart serve your purpose?? Keep this in mind as you shop–it will help you avoid those temptations!

What are your tips to starting school off on budget?

Feel free to link up your tips, but please link to your post, and not your homepage.

Get freedom from normal!

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