School is fast approaching and summer is winding down. The school supplies are appearing in stores and I have implemented my tips that help us save $200-$300 on clothes and school supplies each year. My girls are still enjoying summer and I have a head start on the school supplies and clothing we need for fall. We also are enjoying our savings and the fact that it doesn’t all come out of the budget in one swoop.
Check school supply list for items you already have
Of course your child wants all new items for school. This is normal, but not great for the pocketbook. When you have an older sibling or even a returning student, if the scissors are in great shape, why not use them? One of our school supply list specifically requested Fiskars scissors. We had a pair from my oldest daughter, but they looked old. After a five to ten minute soak in warm, soapy water, they were as good as new. We also had accumulated a lot of pencils last year that my daughter never used. She went around the house and collected nine of the twelve unsharpened pencils that she needs for school.
Buy School Supplies and Clothes throughout the summer
Many department stores offer discounts on varying school supply items during different weeks. I print out the school supply list for our girls in early July. Then I watch the weekly ads for specials on school supplies in the Sunday newspaper. We cross off the school supplies we buy on sale and wait for the next ad. We also look for clothes the girls need for school all summer long. It is easier than waiting to purchase it during one paycheck. We can spread it over several paychecks and not have a huge sum of money going out at once. Also, we receive more coupons and specials each time we visit the children’s clothing stores.
Buy Store Brand School Supplies versus Name Brand
Unless a brand is specifically requested on the school supply list, I buy the store brand. This is an easy way to save $15-$25 on school supplies. Also, many times our school groups the items into one big storage closet and my child doesn’t not get what I purchased anyways, so why not save like everyone else? I have found most school supply items are very comparable between store brands or off brands and name brands.
Double Check the Dress Requirements and School for Hand-me-down Uniforms
Our youngest daughter will be attending preschool. After checking with the office at her preschool, we found out she was required to wear a uniform shirt with the school’s name engraved on them. When I mentioned this to my friend who had a daughter who attended there last year, she offered to donate hers to me. One of the teachers also managed to snag me three shirts from a table where other parents donate them to the school after the end of the year.
If you watch for school supply sales and buy store brand, school supplies are not such a burden to buy. It is also fun for my girls to look in the ads for school supplies and cross them off the school supply list after we purchase them. It helps get them excited for the new school year. They also love picking up an outfit each payday for the coming school year. I, in turn, love the savings we get from the coupons and special offers we receive.
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