Back to School Hacks That Will Save You Money

Children in front of chalkboard
Believe it or not, it's time to gear up for back to school! While you might be excited to send the kiddos back to the land of learning, it can also be a financial stressor due to the rise in costs of school supplies. The National Retail Federation (NFR) expects record spending on school supplies for 2019, with parents spending an average $696 per child. Here is the cost break down depending on your school age child:
  • $1,017 for elementary school students - a 35% increase from 2018
  • $1,277 for middle school students - a 22% increase from 2018
  • $1,668 for high school students - an 11% increase from 2018

While school supplies shopping can be burdensome to your wallet, we have four great hacks that will save you money:


1. Check what you have
. Between the junk drawer, home office, and school supplies from previous years, chances are you already own a lot of what is on your child's supply list. Round up what you have and cross reference the list to see if you have any usable items for the coming year. Make a list of what you do need so that you don't forget about what you already have at home. This hack can be used when it comes to clothes as well. Check out your kid's closets and see what fits and what doesn't and plan to donate or toss accordingly. Similar to the school supplies, make a list of what your child needs in school apparel. We guarantee you'll save money by checking out what you already have.

2. Be thrifty.
Garage sales and thrift stores are gold mines for back to school shopping. You can easily find gently used book bags, shoes, clothes, and sports gear if your child is playing any sports this year. A five dollar gently used back pack is definitely a steal as compared to a brand new $30 one! We also suggest thinking ahead by planning to visit yard sales at the beginning of next summer to prep for the school year. This gives you the chance to spread out your back to school spending instead of dropping major cash right before school starts.

3. Shop the Dollar Store.
You are destined to find deals at the Dollar Store, especially if your school supplies list calls for tissues, sandwich bags, hand sanitizer or paper towels. You won't find a better deal anywhere else!

4. Use social media.
Find your favorite stores on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and make sure you follow them for their exclusive deals. Stores like Old Navy and Target advertise special sales and coupon links on their social media accounts for their favorite shoppers to take advantage of. You can also search for local buy, sell, trade groups on Facebook to see if anyone is selling items that can be used for school.

What are your favorite back to school hacks?

Related Articles:

Back to School Shopping Tips

Seven First Day of School Traditions To Do With Your Student

Surviving School Fundraisers on a Budget

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