When you’ve got multiple children, getting them ready for back to school can be a nightmare. Nevermind trying to get them back into schedules and routines or getting them past their anxieties of being in a new classroom with new teachers and students. The amount of money it’s going to cost you to make sure they all have the proper clothes, shoes, and supplies for the school year is outrageous.
Getting it all done is going to take a miracle, and with just a few days left in August, you don’t have much time. Before you breakdown in a panic, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make sure the kids are ready and your bank account doesn’t suffer – much.
Create a Budget
The only way to stay on budget is to create one. Don’t do any shopping before you have taken this first step. Review your upcoming expenses and income to determine how much you can put towards the kids’ back to school needs. If you don’t have much, there are sites like WesternShamrock.com that you can visit to apply for a short-term installment loan. This would give you a few hundred now that can be repaid later.
Check Weekly Circulars
Back to school season is prime time for major stores to start posting advertisements. If you look hard enough you can find sales on everything your kids need for the school year like $0.15 on pocket folders and pens or packs of writing paper for less than a dollar. As you review the circulars, compare it to your children’s list of school supplies and determine which store has the best deals.
The internet is also packed with back to school deals that are exclusively for online shoppers only. If your children need uniforms, for example, it would make more sense to order them in bulk online to get percentages off and other great deals. This also saves you some time going from store to store.
Buy in Bulk
There are some things that your children will need throughout the school year that are easier and more affordable to buy in bulk. You often get a better per-unit price when you purchase in larger quantities. This includes pencils, pens, erasers, paper, highlighters, markers, and folders.
Recycle What You Can
Not everything the kids wore or used last year has to get thrown away. Some of it may still be in good condition which could save you a ton of money. Have the kids pull out all their clothes and shoes to see which items are intact. If you have children of varying ages and sizes, you may even be able to pass down some things that were too small for one child to their siblings which still saves you money.
Buy Refurbished Tech
Lots of schools require students to complete their class and homework assignments using technology. This could be a tablet, laptop, or computer. If it is necessary for your children to have one, do yourself a favor and buy refurbished. A refurbished device is one that was damaged, however, was repaired and is often under warranty for your protection. They cost a lot less than a brand new one.
Local schools and community organizers like to get together around this time of year to celebrate the start of a new year. They host outdoor barbecues, festivals, fairs, and all types of social events for the community. At these events, there are often free giveaways with basic school supplies for children in the neighborhood. Take advantage of these opportunities and get a free backpack, lunch bag, or even pencils and papers. Every little bit helps.