As the summer days begin to wind down, anxious parents and children begin counting down the days until school starts. For kids, it’s the start of a new adventure with new friends and things to explore. For parents, it means you’re about to spend lots of money. Between the new clothes, binders, backpacks, and lunches, back to school time can be expensive. Cut costs as much as possible with these five money-saving tips:
1. Buy in bulk. When it comes to making the perfect sack lunch, it can pay to buy items in bulk. Shop at warehouse stores or in the bulk section of your regular grocery store and preserve items by freezing (for yogurt and fruit) or storing (for crackers and cookies) until they are ready to be used.
2. Carpool. Back to school means back to lots of activities and driving. Save money on gas by consolidating your trips or setting up a carpool with other neighborhood parents. You’ll be surprised how much gas you’ll save.
3. Reuse supplies. Before heading to the store, take an inventory of your kids’ school supplies. Is there a notebook that is mostly blank? Can an older sibling pass their calculator to a little brother? Reuse and repurpose what you can to save big.
4. Invest in quality pieces. Sure, your kid may want a new character backpack each year, and even though they may seem cheap, the cost of buying a new, low quality backpack every year can definitely add up. Instead, invest in a timeless quality piece that will last for multiple years. This works for backpacks, lunchboxes, and even coats as kids get older.
5. Rent textbooks. Many high school students may be required to purchase textbooks. If that’s the case, ask around to see if you can borrow a copy, or rent one from a textbook retailer like Chegg.com.