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Back to School Bootcamp: Budget Basics

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I love that commercial, with the giddy dad pushing a shopping cart, stocking up on back-to-school items, two kids following him as the song "It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" plays. Ah, the start of a new school year. For some of us, our kids are heading to a new school, so nerves and a bit of anxiety may be juggling about the air. Others have little ones returning to the same institute of learning they were at last year. Doesn't matter which scenario you are tackling this fall, we have to get ready, buy school supplies, clothes and essentials - which can make a huge dent in our family piggy bank. Before you head to the store, we've got some good back-to-school shopping reminders! 

-- Check out what you already have. Any notebooks still around? What about those No. 2 pencils? Look over what you need to get and the piles you still have leftover from last year.

-- Buy bulk. Especially when you have a few kids in school, bulk-buying pencils, pens, computer paper and stuff they all use can save you money. Think about it: they will need notebooks in December and January too. Stock up now with the good deals.

-- Check online. If you get free shipping from sites such as Amazon and Staples, see what kind of sales they may have.

-- Make a list and stick to the list. Use the list they teachers give and then sit down with your kiddo to add anything else she may think she will need. When you are shopping, stick to it. There will be loads of other items out there, on sale, that will attract your attention. By sticking to that list, you will stay on budget.

-- Hold off on some stuff until school starts. This is especially true for clothes (which we'll chat about tomorrow), but it goes for other items that she may not need right away. The prices will drop even more once the first day has come and gone.

How are you tacking back-to-school shopping? Share your hints here! 



by on Aug. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (21-30):
by on Aug. 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM

This is our first year so we got our backpack first bc I found a good sale everything else we are still waiting on until it gets a bit closer

by Member on Aug. 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM
This is DD's first year in school so we are just getting everything on the list. I pay attention to sales and use coupons to get the best deal
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by on Aug. 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

 I agre with holding off on some clothes until a little after school starts. There is no reason to buy the entire wardrobe before school starts.

by on Aug. 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

These are great tips, a few I do myself already! 

by on Aug. 6, 2012 at 11:59 AM


Quoting michiganmom116:

I know what's leftover from last year and what will need to be replaced.   I don't buy more than what we need.

 Thats pretty smart to use leftovers from the year before ! ;)

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by on Aug. 6, 2012 at 1:45 PM

The only thing left on our list is clothes, school starts August 20th - I would like to get some new clothes around September because at the moment my son can still wear shorts to school! We will have to get some new shoes before school starts though.

by on Aug. 6, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I home school so I have been pondering all summer what I will do or need next season now its time to buy buy!

by Member on Aug. 6, 2012 at 6:42 PM

we won't do school shopping until next year but these are good things to remember!

by Amy on Aug. 6, 2012 at 6:51 PM

 I just get what is on their lists.

by Amber E on Aug. 6, 2012 at 7:21 PM
We buy bulk but no kids in school I run a daycare.
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