The buzz around here is that we are already halfway through Summer vacation and the kids will be heading back to school next month. That means parents all over the globe will be scrambling to get their kids ready for another school year. Whether you have little one's just going into preschool or you are sending kids off to college, education can be a very costly expense if you don't plan and prepare for it. Parents are always looking for ways to stretch their money so here are some great ways you can save this school year!
Clothing for Less: Shop consignment or thrift shops for great buys on trendy, name brand clothing. You can also arrange a clothing swap among your friends or coworkers. Have everyone bring their gently used clothing that their children have outgrown and hopefully you can swap them for clothes you can use.
Shop Year Round: When I am out and about and I see a great deal on school supplies or other products my children can use for school, I buy them and add them to our "supply closet." This is a great way to get a stockpile of supplies that your kids will eventually need when school starts. This is also great for when your kids bring home projects where they need supplies. Take it from me. You don't want to find yourself running out to buy a bottle of glue when little Johnny remembers an hour before bed that he has a project due in the morning.
Open a New Savings Account: I try and put back a little money each week throughout the Summer to use for Back to School shopping. Try to find a local bank that offers an account with no fees or account limitations. A company like Halifax in the UK for example can help you determine what kind of account will help you save the most money. I personally have a separate account just for this type of savings so I'm not tempted to dip into it for other expenses.
Pack Lunches: Packing your child's lunch can save you big money in the long run, especially if you have multiple children. Buy a good lunchbox and reusable water bottle at the beginning of the year so you have something to pack the kids lunches in. As an added perk, you control what your child is eating for lunch so you can ensure they have a well rounded, healthy meal that will keep them full until they arrive home for the evening. If you have younger children, bento lunches are all the rave right now. You can find some seriously cute `bento lunch ideas on Pinterest and Instragram to get your creative juices flowing! You can also stock up on reusable snack bags and even cloth napkins so you can cut down the cost (and help the Earth!) by not using so many plastic baggies and paper products.
Used Books: If you have a child heading off to college, prepare yourself for the HUGE expense of books. You can cut down on this cost significantly by buying used or even looking at your local library before you buy. If your student has friends taking the same classes, they can also consider sharing books.
I'm looking forward to a new and exciting school season and watching my kids grow another year. Hopefully you can use these guidelines and save a little money too! School is an exciting adventure for children and it's better for everyone when parents don't have to worry about breaking the bank!