Back to school with a budget

Back to school with a budget

Getting ready for heading back to school is a period of the year where the pressure is on the parents more than the kids. Children are off enjoying the summer, and they're not oriented on worrying about school supplies in the middle of July. After all, school doesn't start until the end of August, right?

That's true, but preparing for going back to school means parents really do need to start preparing ahead of time. Waiting until the week before school to sort out supplies, buy schoolbags, and shop for clothes in a rush is a bad idea and only adds to the stress and costs. Taking the time to prepare means the back-to-school money crunch is something other parents have to deal with – not you. Here are some ideas to help trim the back-to-school budget.

When you receive the list of supplies your child needs, you may feel the need to rush into the stores. Do not worry, there are plenty of supplies to distribute and your child will not miss anything. Carry your list in your purse at all times, and shop for a period of time, keeping an eye on sales. Shop too. Do not take children with you because it's a situation that ensures your children are familiar with the most expensive and brightest school supplies available.

Avoid buying equipment containing the latest cartoon character. Although your child may like the current characters in Disney cartoons, in six months, that same character will fall out of favor, replaced by another. The iconic lunch box and schoolbag that so pleased at the beginning of the year will end up being objects that the child no longer loves.

Speaking of lunch boxes, the best on the market are thermal and flexible. These lunch boxes keep food fresh and safe for consumption, as there are no student refrigerators in most schools. Avoid using zipper bags and instead choose reusable plastic containers with sealed seals. A thermos is a good idea for hot meals in winter. Keep in mind that kids love fast and easy food.

Choose strong, well-made and durable school bags. Children have their school bags treated fairly harshly, and "cool" bags often end in tears in the middle of the school year. Backpacks are a better choice, and you can even pick good ones in the store's camping section. Kids will love the zippers and pockets of these backpacks and parents will appreciate the ergonomic value of the bags. Backpacks will also be on sale at the end of the summer season!

Many parents stock up on new clothes for school during the summer. Buy coins that kids can mix and match. A very good size wardrobe for kids is made up of ten different shirts and seven pants of interchangeable colors and styles. Try to avoid the "in" thing, because it will not be "in" six months later. On the other hand, being "in" is important for teens and for peer acceptance. So allow your teenager to choose one or two clothes that are fashionable as a compromise.

There are many other tips that make transitioning back to school easier, but starting with these thrifty ideas is a start. You will be able to reduce expenses and provide your children with what they need to start the school year.

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