Back-to-school season is one of several times during the year when you’ll find many people heading out to the mall or online to do some major shopping. Getting your kids prepped for another school year can seem like an expensive and overwhelming endeavor. Here are five tips we’ve put together to maximize the occasion while not simultaneously breaking the bank.

Back-to-School Savings

Start at home!

Chances are, this isn’t your first back-to-school occasion. And, if you’re like many, you might have plenty from years past that can be recycled, repurposed, or just plain reused.

Go through your entire house for old school supplies that might have been lost in the garage or misplaced in your kid’s closet. Combine this effort with a little summer cleaning to really maximize your time.

It’s also good to note what things you can intentionally save next time for reuse. It could be binders, pencils, refillable pens, scissors, and the like.

save money back to school

Buy classic and versatile clothes

Clothes can often be the most costly during back-to-school season. Not only do you need to ensure you have outfits for every day of the week, but after-school programs, sports, and other activities typically pile a few more demands on.

Wherever possible, invest in classic pieces that your kid can match up with multiple outfits. Not only is this in vogue right now as a fashion trend, but you’ll manage to save money on clothing in the process.

For boys, fashion and clothing choices isn’t usually as much of a concern.

For girls, you often need to be a little pickier.

For a stylish yet cheap option that you can use to mix and match, look to choices like colored jeans and bralettes. Jeans can be used with multiple outfits, and are always in style. Bralettes can be worn under a variety of tops to add color and style, and will save you a lot of money.

Be smart about shopping

Keep an eye out for end-of-season and holiday sales. Plan your shopping just in time for the end of summer so you can take advantage of large discounts from the end-of-season sale. If you happen to miss it, Labor Day also gives you great deductions and allows you one final chance to grab a few discounted options.

Nowadays, online sales are always happening. Its best to price a few options and then track the prices over several weeks. If you see the price drop, jump on it.

Splurge on the important things

It might be contradictory to splurge when what you want to do is save up. However, when you splurge on the important things, it can save you more in the long run. What’s so good about a cute and affordable backpack when the straps end up giving out a few months later? Or a cheap pair of sneakers when the soles are worn out after a couple of times?

Allow compromises on other replaceable things, but don’t hold off on the essentials. Picking up a few high quality pieces of clothing and other supplies could in fact save you money in the long run.

Have your kids “earn” their shopping money

Starting in the summertime, you can designate household chores and tasks to your kids as a way for them to work for their shopping money. This way, you’re not only building up funds through your kids in time for back-to-school, but you’re also teaching them a great lesson about perseverance, gratitude, and discipline. Teach your kids about money early and it’ll pay off in the long run! Plus it keeps them from being idle all day long and your house is clean throughout the summer. It’s a productive use of time all around.

Saving up at such a busy and costly time is a skill and it takes time for smart habits to form. Start off with these five basic tips and add on as you go along. Hopefully this will your most productive (and cheapest) back-to-school season ever!

Do you have any tips on ways to save?

Share ’em in the comments below!

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