My older daughter just started kindergarten and I quickly realized that school is going to be more expensive than I had anticipated.
Although I was ready for some expenses, such as clothing, lunch and supplies, others, such as classroom and tissue cleaning supplies, surprised me.
Here are the ways I’ve been trying to keep costs back to school below:
Buy A Year’s Worth of Supplies Now
School supplies are not going to be cheaper than they are right now. Stocking up for the whole year ( while crayons are a dollar a pack) makes more sense than paying three dollars in a month.
You don’t have to go on board either. Just take a couple extras from what your kids use regularly. This way, you will have them by hand when the time comes to replenish.
No Pack food prepackage
If you’re going to be packing your kids’ lunches, then skip prepacked items.
As my older daughter is a dining room, we have chosen to pack her lunch instead of buying it. I went to the grocery store to eat meals and they blew me for the price of prepacked lunches.
For example, a pizza lunch kit containing three small pizzas, a Butterfinger mini bar, and a Capri Sun ran around $8. Considering how little food is included, the price is quite ridiculous.
Instead, it would be much cheaper and healthier to avoid prepackage food completely. I’m packing my daughter some grape variations, a peanut butter sandwich and jelly, carrots, cheese sticks and a juice box.
Your school offer offers free lunches
Some states have programs that allow low-income people to pay for school lunches at a reduced rate. Make sure you look at them and see if you qualify. I heard California is offering free lunches to every student. Make sure you take advantage of it if you live in that state. I don’t know if the portions will be enough, but maybe you can pack half a meal and have your child the other half. Anything helps.
Getting new every year is not mandatory
I know some parents who like to have a new set of everything for their kids every year. New backpack, new pencil case, new supplies, and everything else you might think. Adults justify it by saying that this helps children get excited during the school year. I think all it does is that children expect a sweet shopping trip every year while having little or no effect on how they will do it at school. That’s me. You may still like to do that, but I just know this will put a big tooth on your wallet.
Unless you’re the father of a teenager who demands names brands (I remember those days), then you should be able to spend with a relatively low clothing budget.
I mean, honestly, how many new clothes do kids need for school? Not much.
It is possible that all your child’s new clothes will look like the old ones after a couple of wears. There’s no need to break the bank.
I got a lot of my daughter’s clothes on Walmart’s cleaning shelf, and her shoes came from BOGO’s sales at Target. The truth is that she has had so many clothes given to her by family members that she could have gotten out with the purchase of her only new socks.
Don’t feel bad if your budget doesn’t allow a new school wardrobe. After a week at school, children will forget all about their new clothes anyway!
Is there a veteran who can give me more savings tips?