Shopping for back-to-school? Here are some ways to save

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 12:06 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Back-to-school shopping can get out of hand quickly. Schools hand out lists and kids need new clothes, so how do you save on all those necessities?

Heather Toombs, UK family and consumer science extension agent, gave us some good ideas to help.

· Reduce the stress of back-to-school expenses by creating a budget that fits comfortably into your household budget. Planning in advance will give you plenty of time to shop the sales

· With working from home and homeschooling over the past year or so make sure to take inventory of the items you already have on hand.

· Start with the class supply list and create a list identifying and starting with the needs and ending with the wants. Stick to the list only by what is on the list. Purchase items with cash and when you run out of cash stop purchasing.

· Look through the retail ads and look for coupons. With the price of gas, it may make sense to shop at the retailer that has the best price on the most items on your list, or if you plan, you may be able to shop several retailers over a few weeks.

· Stock up on the staple items that you’re buying throughout the year like pens, pencils, and notebooks.

· Reach out to family and friends to see if they have calculators, rulers, or backpacks that you could recycle and reuse.

· Label high ticket items with the parents’ information, if they are forgotten or left behind, they will be more likely to be returned.

· Set up a Swap shop either in person or through social media.

Back to School Clothes

Take the time to clean out closets and take anything in good condition to a children’s consignment shop and consider spending the dollars you receive on clothing at the same time. Depending on your school’s dress code you may not have to purchase clothes at one time, you may wait till fall to purchase pants and a winter coat, by spreading out purchases over the year you can spread out the expenses on your budget. You will save even more money if your child hits a growth spurt during that time.

Depending on your child’s age this is a great time to help them learn about budgeting. Giving them a budget and allowing them to be a part of the planning can go a long way towards their understanding of money and budgeting in the future. It may even help them appreciate their school supplies too!

Go green

· Recycle and reuse previous year’s supplies or hand down supplies to family or friends.

· Buy supplies that are made from recycled materials

· Use reusable containers and utensils in your lunch. Avoid individually packaged items, like snacks, utensils, or straws

· On the days you’re eating a school lunch make sure to only take what you’re going to need i.e. one ketchup, one salt, or one napkin.

Heather Toombs

There are more resources to help you with the UK extension office. Find your county’s agent here.

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