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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 (31-37):
by Member on Aug. 6, 2012 at 8:54 PM

I buy double on the stuff the kids have on their list to send more in after Christmas.  They usually need more of everything by Christmas, but the stuff isn't on sale anymore.

by Carissa on Aug. 6, 2012 at 9:05 PM
We buy the basics, honestly there isn't a lot to buy. My mom and I enjoy shopping together.
by on Aug. 6, 2012 at 9:15 PM

We have not started yet.  DD is at camp for 2 weeks, so when she gets back.

by Gold Member on Aug. 7, 2012 at 9:58 PM

 We have to buy a lot of things new because this is ds's first year in school (kindergarten)...BUT...I got picked for the $50 Kmart Back To School influencer program so that should help :) YAY.

by Amber E on Aug. 9, 2012 at 6:27 PM

We aren't in school yet with our kids but next week both will be in school

by on Aug. 12, 2012 at 1:10 PM

the only thing we go so far was his back pack

by New Member on Sep. 6, 2012 at 1:46 AM

well my little girl hasnt started school yet but i love reading and taking advice from other mothers on here about deals, dos and donts. i know she'll be starting school soon and i haven bought anything.

the on thing i hate is buying something and then seeing it at a lower price somewhere else. i like the idea of checking online and i love the 1 dollar bins. i love buying things on sale. im also trying to start up couponing.


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