How To Save Money On Your Family’s Back To School Expenses

Hey fellow moms! 🌟 It’s that time of year again – back-to-school season! 📚✏️ As we all know, getting our kids ready for school can really add up, making our wallets feel a bit lighter. But don’t worry, I’ve got some super tips to help us save those precious dollars without skimping on what our kiddos need. Let’s jump in and learn how to save money on your family’s back to school expenses!

Save more money for the next time your kiddos go back to campus

From setting a smart budget to finding the best deals and discounts, I’m here to share everything I’ve learned about saving money during this busy time. Whether you’re shopping for pencils, lunchboxes, or those ever-growing lists of school supplies, I’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into making this back-to-school season easier on our wallets, together! 💖💸

Ready to become a back-to-school shopping ninja? Let’s go! 🌈🛍️

Understanding Back-to-School Expenses

Let’s start with a little heart-to-heart about what we’re really diving into when we talk about back-to-school shopping. Did you know that on average, families spend a pretty penny on school supplies? Yep, it’s not just you feeling that pinch. 📚💸

Have more budget left over for tuition with these tips

The Real Cost of Going Back to School

Imagine filling up a shopping cart with pencils, notebooks, a backpack, some clothes, and maybe a calculator. Now, picture the price tag on that cart being way more than you expected. That’s the reality for most of us. It’s not just about pencils and paper; it’s the whole shebang – clothes, electronics (because somehow a tablet is a necessity now), and those extra-curricular fees that pop up out of nowhere, making it even more important to know how to save money on your family’s back to school expenses.

Why Setting a Budget is Your New Best Friend

Here’s where we put on our superhero capes and tackle this challenge head-on. Setting up a budget isn’t just about numbers; it’s about giving us the power to control our spending and make smart choices. Think of it as planning a fabulous party but making sure you have enough left for the pizza! 🍕

Save money by budgeting

  1. Know What You’re Up Against: Start by making a list of what you need. And yes, I mean need. Those cute erasers might be adorable, but are they necessary?
  2. Be a Smart Shopper: Compare prices, look for sales, and don’t be shy about using coupons. It’s like going on a treasure hunt where the prize is saving money!
  3. Involve the Kids: This is a golden opportunity to teach our little ones about budgeting and the value of money. Plus, it might just make them think twice before insisting on that $50 backpack with wings. 🎒✨

Early Planning and Budgeting Strategies

Alright, moms, let’s dive into our secret weapon in how to save money on your family’s back to school expenses: early planning and budgeting. Trust me, it’s like having a map in a treasure hunt. 🗺️💎

Have the best buy for students and still save some for the next semester through planning

Set Up a Budget: Your Financial Blueprint

First things first, let’s talk budget. Think of it as your family’s financial blueprint for back-to-school shopping. Here’s how to make it your BFF:

  1. List It Out: Grab a cup of coffee and jot down everything your kiddos need. From those must-have sneakers to the nitty-gritty like pencils and binders.
  2. Do the Math: Add up the costs and compare it with what you’re comfortable spending. This might mean making some tough choices, like skipping the designer backpack for a more budget-friendly option.
  3. Save for the Big Day: Consider setting aside a little money each month. It’s like saving up for a mini-vacation, but instead, you’re investing in your child’s school year.

Teach the Kids To Budget: A Life Lesson

This is a golden opportunity to teach your kids about how to save money on your family’s back to school expenses — and money in general. Make it a fun family activity:

  1. Give Them a Budget: Let them decide how to spend a set amount on their supplies. It’s a real-world game of “Would You Rather?” but with pencils and glue sticks.
  2. Needs vs. Wants: Help them understand the difference between what they need for school and what they want. It’s a valuable lesson that’ll pay off in the long run.

Plan Your Meals: The Secret to Saving

Did you know planning your meals can save you a ton on back-to-school expenses? Here’s the scoop:

  1. Lunchbox Magic: Packing lunches can be way cheaper (and healthier) than buying food at school. Plus, it’s a chance to sneak in some veggies. 🥕
  2. Batch Cooking: Spend a Sunday cooking meals for the week. It saves time, money, and the “What’s for dinner?” headache.

Smart Shopping Tips

Now, onto the fun part: shopping! But we’re not just any shoppers; we’re smart, savvy, superhero shoppers. 🛒💥

Time to get your kids back to their schools! Get them ready with these tips.

1. Buy Used Textbooks and Supplies

Books can be pricey, but who said they have to be new? Check out online marketplaces or local sales for gently used textbooks and supplies. It’s like a treasure hunt for books!

2. Shop Without Your Kids

As much as we love our little angels, they’re experts at convincing us to buy things we don’t need. Try shopping solo to stick to your list and budget.

3. Look for Coupons and Download Apps

Coupons are not just pieces of paper; they’re little bits of happiness that save you money. Download coupon apps or check out websites for deals before you hit the stores.

4. Shop Every Week and Start Early

Don’t try to buy everything in one go. Spread out your purchases and take advantage of weekly sales. The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the best deals!

5. Shop Online First

Before you brave the stores, check prices online. You might find better deals or exclusive online sales. Plus, shopping in your PJs is always a win.

6. Buy in Bulk With Friends

Team up with other moms and buy supplies in bulk. It’s a great way to save money, and you’ll have a stockpile of essentials for emergencies (like when your child says they need poster board at 9 PM).

7. Use Discounted Gift Cards

Look for discounted gift cards online to use for your back-to-school shopping. It’s like getting free money towards your purchases.

8. Buy Supplies That Will Last Longer

Invest in quality items that won’t need replacing halfway through the year. It might cost a bit more upfront, but it’ll save you money in the long run.

9. Buy Generic Brands

Brand names are nice, but generic brands can be just as good (and much cheaper). Financial expert Andrea Woroch attests to that, saying, “When it comes to basic supplies and clothing, you can save up to 50% by opting for store brands over name brands. For example, Target’s Up & Up 1-subject notebook costs just $0.99. Comparatively, the same type of notebook from Five Star costs $3.39. That’s a $2.40 price difference for just 1 item,” in MarketWatch Picks. (

Give them a try and watch your savings grow.

Leveraging Discounts and Deals

Ready to level up your back-to-school shopping game? It’s all about grabbing those discounts and deals with both hands. Let’s dive into how we can make every penny count!

Here are ways to save money by maximizing discounts and sales

  1. Carry Your Student ID: For those with older kids, a student ID is like a golden ticket to savings. From tech stores to bookshops, flashing that ID can unlock exclusive discounts. It’s like a secret handshake for savings!
  2. Cash-back Apps and Websites: Imagine getting money back just for shopping. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it’s real! Use cash-back apps and websites when buying online or in-store. It’s like the store is paying you to shop!
  3. Take Advantage of Student Discounts: Beyond the student ID, sign up for student discount programs. They’re everywhere once you start looking, offering deals on everything from laptops to pencils. It’s like a VIP club for smart shopping.
  4. Sales Tax Holidays: Mark your calendar for sales tax holidays. These magical days let you shop tax-free on essentials like clothes and school supplies. It’s like the government is giving you a high-five for saving money.Julie Ramhold, a DealNews Consumer Analyst, advises shoppers on CNBC, “Be prepared to battle crowds, but definitely take advantage of those state tax holidays.”
  5. Follow Your Favorite Stores on Social Media: Become a social media detective and follow your favorite stores. They often share exclusive deals and early sale alerts with their followers. It’s like being part of an exclusive savings club.

Additional Money-Saving Strategies

Alright, moms, we’ve covered the basics of how to save money on your family’s back to school expenses, but let’s not stop there. Here are some extra strategies to stretch those dollars even further. Because who doesn’t love more ways to save?

More ways to save money

  1. Leave the Kids at Home: We’ve touched on this before, but it’s worth repeating. Shopping without the kids means you can stick to your list without those puppy dog eyes convincing you otherwise. It’s like shopping with a shield against impulse buys.
  2. Pick Up Part-Time Work: For the moms of college students, encourage your kids to pick up part-time work. Not only does it teach them responsibility, but it also helps cover their personal expenses. It’s like turning them into mini financial warriors.
  3. Avoid Credit Card Debt: This one’s crucial, moms. Use credit cards wisely. Look for cards with rewards or cash-back offers but pay off the balance each month to avoid interest. It’s like playing the credit card game on expert mode – and winning.
  4. Put Off Your Electronics Purchases: Wait for the big sales before buying expensive electronics. Black Friday and Cyber Monday can offer huge savings on gadgets. It’s like the universe is giving you a discount for being patient.
  5. Pay Student Loan Interest While in School: If you or your kids have student loans, paying off the interest while still in school can save thousands in the long run. It’s like planting a tree today so you can enjoy the shade tomorrow.
  6. Be Intentional About Finding an Account for Your Savings in College: For college-bound kids, choosing the right savings account can make a big difference. Look for accounts with high-interest rates or student benefits. It’s like giving your money a little growth hormone.
  7. Shop With a Credit Card That Offers Cash Back: We mentioned using credit cards wisely, but it bears repeating. A credit card that offers cash back on purchases can be a game-changer. It’s like getting a rebate on everything you buy.
  8. Join a Parent Networking Group: Last but not least, join forces with other parents. Share tips, swap supplies, and support each other. It’s like forming a savings superhero team.

As University of Tennessee Consumer Economics Specialist Christopher T. Sneed says in their university’s paper: “Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to break the budget. The key is for families and individuals to think ahead and be strategic about consumer decisions.”

Wrapping Up Everything on How To Save Money On Your Family’s Back To School Expenses

Phew! We did it, moms! We conquered back-to-school shopping with our smarts and teamwork. But remember, it’s about more than saving money. We taught our kids valuable life lessons and built a brighter future for our families. Here’s to all the moms who planned, budgeted, and cheered their kids on. We rock!

Up your financial literacy with the tips here and save money for school expenses

Now that you know how to save money on your family’s back to school expenses, let’s celebrate a successful school year (and all the adventures to come)!

Kathy Urbanski

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *