It’s time for school again and for mommies with a budget, it can be a stressful time of the year. Expenses continue to grow and can cost hundreds of dollars for school supplies, bags, and new clothing. Whether you have one child or multiple, it’s wise to come up with a game plan to make shopping bearable.
Fortunately, retailers and companies know that the second busiest shopping season is back-to-school shopping, and that is why they come up with deals. However, the discounts can only help so much if you impulsively splurge on things you think you’ll save on. With that said, here are some budgeting tips that will help moms.
Save Money Ahead of Time
You can’t buy anything if you don’t have the budget. If you have school-age children, it’s best to set your budget early on if you expect to spend a lot. You can get extra income by selling things you don’t need. The best way to sell your items with little effort is online. Things that are rare, collector’s items, and basically anything in excellent condition is generally salable, so keep an eye on those things around your house.
Make a List
It’s important to take stock of what your children need, like school supplies and wardrobe. Some schools are stricter than others when it comes to clothing, so it’s best to ask about dress codes.
Most schools have lists or websites you can check out. If not, you can ask directly from the institution. When you create a list, you have more than ample time to watch out for sales before school starts. You avoid the back-to-school shopping rush or doing it at the last minute.
Another tip to save on school supplies is to reuse what your children had last year. For example, if they still have unused coloring materials and art supplies, you don’t have to buy as many this year. If the clothes are still in good condition, maybe you can spend less on clothing.
Consider Buying Secondhand
Children are expected to outgrow things like their clothes, shoes, and their tastes. It’s a given that their possessions will only last several years. Therefore, you can save money by buying things secondhand, especially on electronics.
Most homework and projects nowadays have gone digital. Research can be done on the internet; projects and papers, submitted via email. It’s a disadvantage to not have a computer at home because it will be a hassle to go to the library.
Consider buying a secondhand laptop or a refurbished one at a fraction of the price of a brand-new unit. Contrary to what most people believe, refurbished electronics work just as well as fresh units do. They’ve been handled carefully and thoroughly checked by experts and technicians.
Go Thrifting for “New” Clothing
Thrifting is another way to save on money since kids grow so fast. Thrift stores often have ongoing deals for kids’ clothing. You can find clothing staples like jeans and jackets for less.
If your local discount stores don’t offer a variety of selections, you can go online and join Facebook groups for moms or parents. You can do swaps for clothing and other items like backpacks and shoes.
Buy in Bulk (If You Can)
If you have enough money to buy things in bulk, do it. Warehouse stores offer these kinds of deals. You can also stock up on food for easy-to-make breakfasts and lunches at the grocery store. Storing fruit snacks, power bars, and juices will not only help you with morning rush packing but also save you money in the long run too.
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However, you need not go over the budget to stock up more. Stick to the essentials because there will be plenty of opportunities and sales to buy more in the future.
Bonus Tip: Use Money-Saving Apps
If you shop online for school supplies, be sure to take advantage of money-saving apps. There are numerous discount codes that you can use for free, especially for first purchases. There are browser extensions that help you save money when you shop online.
What are your go-to budgeting tips for back-to-school shopping? Share them below.