It is not quite back to school for us yet, but at work we are gearing up for a new school year. I know that school has already started in some areas. Having worked in a school for years, I wanted to share some tips to save money at school.
- Take an assessment of school supplies from last year. Can you reuse that backpack? Just because a box of crayons is half-used, does not mean they still cannot be used.
- For the school supplies that are needed, check out your Sunday paper for all the sales. There are some amazing sales right now and now is the time to stock up on notepads, highlighters, etc. Buy extra for other great uses.
- Take an inventory on clothes you already have. Turn jeans that are too small into shorts or a cute bag. Check out the thrift stores for clothing. You can often find new items that have never been worn there as well.
- Organize a clothing swap with friends. People get tired of perfectly good stuff and it is nice when someone you know can use it.
- Organize a car pool for pick up and drop off. This saves you gas and time, plus it is less traffic at the school with less cars – win win.
- Send your student with a refillable drink container instead of water bottles or juice boxes. This saves quite a bit over time and your are helping protect our environment too.
- Check out the dollar stores for school supplies. There are some great selections at these stores. The items in the photo above are from a dollar store aisle.
- Encourage your child to make there own lunch as often as possible. If they cannot make it, they can help pick the items to go into it. So many lunchables are tossed in the trash with only the cookies eaten so be sure you check to see what your child likes.
- Package your own snacks. Individual preportioned snacks are really pricey when you do the math.
- If your kids are in middle or high school, ask friends who have older kids if they would be interested in tutoring. College students can be also be great tutors for a lot less money.
- Do not spend money on fundraisers for the school. Instead offer services to help with the project or if you want to contribute, just make a straight donation. Many of those programs have a large profit margin (gift wrap, greeting cards etc). While they offer prizes for the kids, there is also a good margin that stays with the fundraising company.
- If you do drive or pick up your kids from school, incorporate errands into these trips to save on gas.
For college students
- Purchase used books. Check for the same titles on Amazon to see if you can find a better price. Sell your book back at the end of the class, if you can.
- Use public transportation at school. Parking and driving your car can be very expensive.
Do you have a school money saving tip to share?