WORDS: Kris Louis — Parentingwithkris.com
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, schools are slowly gearing up for the start of the new year. Of course, you’ll need supplies — and children’s school supplies can add up fast! From clothing to computers, your budget can really take a beating. Here are some thrifty ideas for moms and dads who want to get everything their kids need without overspending.
Dip Into Online Deals for Clothing
There are lots of great theories out there for saving money on clothing, like shopping back-to-front for clearance items in brick-and-mortar establishments, and hitting them up for off-season selections. Money Crashers points out you can even win out by shopping on a Thursday instead of the weekend since most shoppers will aim for Friday through Sunday.
Besides planning in-person trips carefully, buying online is another smart way to stretch your hard-earned dollars. For example, deal websites like Rakuten offer coupons, promo codes, and cashback offers for a variety of different retailers — and the list of stores they partner with continues to grow! It’s a great way to get whatever your child needs at less expense, whether you’re shopping in season or not!
Cut the Cost of Computers
One of the biggest school-related purchases most moms and dads make comes in the form of electronics. While computers, tablets, and smartphones are all big-ticket items, you can stretch your dollars a few different ways. For instance, Money.com recommends making the gadget’s specs your top priority, rather than getting caught up in details that aren’t as meaningful. Many parents look for memory, screen size, and weight when examining their options.
Once you make your investment, plan to add some protective measures in the event of spills and drops. Since the last thing you want is for your hard-earned money to go down the drain due to an incident, a durable bag will keep a tablet or laptop safe, and a shockproof or waterproof case is a wise addition to your kiddo’s smartphone.
Need a little extra help with your investment? Note some organizations help families meeting specific financial requirements get the electronics their children need for school. Another option is to connect with a community center, the school, or your local library for free computer use. It’s a great way to keep your kid powered up without overpowering your budget.
Books are a classic school supply, and also a classic budget-buster. If your kids’ books are hard on your wallet, there are some ways to find low-cost and free options. As an example, kids with Kindles or the Kindle app can download classics for free, or you can shop around at various websites for deals on ebooks in general. There are also borrowing opportunities from libraries, and you can even get college textbooks for free if you look in the right place.
Of course, your public library is a thrifty option, and if they participate in the interlibrary loan program, you can get books from participating universities and public libraries throughout the country.
Pens, Pencils, and Paper—Oh, My!
As moms and dads, it’s easy to get caught up in the big-ticket items. Keep in mind, though, that even the little basics of school shopping can add up! If you’re picking up things like erasers, staplers, pens, paper, and pencils, you can typically find a cornucopia of goodies at your dollar stores.
Have some friends getting the same supplies you are? Buying in bulk is a terrific way to save money, and stores like Discount School Supply offer a discount when you sign up for their email list. You can pick up everything from paints to glues and papers to paperclips, then divide the expense between everyone. Discount School Supply also offers a 110 percent low-price guarantee, and you save the time and money of running to a brick-and-mortar store. It’s a budget-friendly win, all the way around!
When it’s time to restock your child’s school supplies, it’s easy to feel like your wallet is getting overwhelmed. Thankfully, there are things like BOGO offers, low-cost computers and books, and bulk suppliers to ease your finances. Just put these thrifty shopping solutions to the test, and you’re sure to pass with flying colors!