Save Several Dollars with These Practical Tips for the New School Year

National Day Out: Back to School

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — Servicemembers and their families receive school supplies at the 2013 National Day Out: Back to School Event on Aug. 18, 2013, outside of the Lincoln Military Housing Family Housing Center aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. The Provost Marshal’s Office, Marine Corps Community Services and Lincoln Military Housing co-sponsored the event after National Night Out was cancelled on the base due to budget cuts.

Aside from the tuition fee, parents need to add the items that their kids would need for the new school year in their budget. If you have kids who are going to school, there are things that you can do on how to save on their things. These are practical tips that you can try and it would surprise you how much money you can save through these.

See What You Have at Home

Before heading to the store to purchase back to school items, enlist the help of the whole family to find items that you may already have at home that the kids can use at school. You may also take this as a time to do a general cleaning. This will not only save you money as you don’t have to spend dollars on the things that you already have, but it would also keep your home clean and organized. It’s a win-win situation for you.

Check Out Thrift Stores or Dollar Stores

Miramar thrift store: cheap solutions for pricey problems

Whitney Mays, a spouse and mother, and a Pensacola, Fla., native comes to the Thrift Shop to look for books to aid her children’s homeschooling by looking through the shop’s stocks aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Oct. 10. Prices range from $.25 to $20 dollars on almost all items in the store, which helps to fund the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society’s giving to those in the military in need.

You don’t need to head out to the mall or department store right away as there are several cheap finds available at thrift stores and dollar stores. It requires more patience as you may need to go through several stuffs to find something that your kids would like, but it would be worth the effort considering the price is a lot cheaper.

Find Items on Garage Sale

Garage sales are also great places to find various items at a low price. Watch out for any garage sales around your area. You may also ask family and friends to let you know if they see one around their place or maybe look for things that your kids could use if they happen to pass by one.

Use Coupons

Coupons are also great ways to slash the price of the items that you will purchase. Cut out coupons that you can use from magazines, newspapers and online. Ask the entire family to help so you can find as many coupons as you can. You’ll be surprised at how much savings you could get from this. Make sure to check out the policy of the store where you will be shopping when it comes to the use of coupons as these stores have varying terms. Most of these stores have sites online so you can read about their terms from there. If they don’t have a website, try calling the store so you can ask about their specific policy.

Swap with Other Parents

Ask friends, relatives and neighbors who also have kids that go to school to swap things with you. They may have used stuffs from their kids that your kids could use and vice versa like books, art supplies, clothes, shoes and more. This would be a huge help for everyone as the things that you could swap with each other would already add up to your savings. Kids don’t always need to have new things when they go back to school. If the items are still in good condition, those would do.

Buy in Bulk

You may find items in stores that are sold in bulk. This would save on the total cost instead of purchasing the same number of items individually. These are great for things that your kids can use the whole year like pencils, papers and pens. You may also ask friends or relatives who may need the same items to share the bill with you and then divide the items equally so all of you can enjoy the savings.

Stick with the List

MCAS Yuma's Back to School Resource Fair

Makayla Bullock, a youth supervisor for Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., hands out free school supplies to kids at the Back to School Resource Fair at the Sonoran Pueblo, Friday. The fair gave active duty families the chance to meet with school liaisons, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and a host of other youth organizations while also getting free school supplies.

There is usually a list of items given by the school on what kids would need depending on their grade level. Cross out items that you already have so you don’t have to buy them. It may be tempting to purchase additional things for your kids just because they look cute, but control yourself and stick with the list that you have.Do you have other back to school savings tips that you wish to share? Type your comments in the box below.

Photo Attribution:

Featured and 1st image by Sgt. Rebekka Heite ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2nd image by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

3rd image by Cpl. Brendan King ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons