With the economy being as bad as it is, it’s important for families to save as much money as possible so that they can get by. As a mother of two boys, I understand how hard that can be, especially when school is right around the corner and money is tight. I am going to share with you some ways that you can get the things you need, and some of what your children want for back to school without going broke.
One: Get a list.
Prepare a basic list of items that your kids will need when school starts. Paper, pencils, pens a backpack and clothes. Some schools provide a list during the first week of items your child will need throughout the year, but it’s about saving money, so start your list as early as possible.
Researchers found that people who prepare a list prior to shopping will save a significant amount of money compared to those who go to a store with just a general idea of what they want. *EHow.com*
Two: Know You’re Battle Ground:
Be prepared to shop at several different stores while getting your school supplies. Make a list of some dollar stores in your area, Wal-Mart, K-Mart or another comparable store that’s close to you. Stay out of high end stores that you would find in the mall, you will not save money by spending sixty dollars on a backpack.
Look through your Junk mail and keep the store circulars that come to you rather than throwing them away. Even if you don’t have the patience or the time to cut coupons, glance through them and this will give you an idea of which stores are having back to school sales.
Make a note on your list of which stores you can get which item for less. For example: Wal-Mart is selling pencils and pens for 1.50 but the Dollar Store has the same items for only a dollar. You would then put Dollar Store next to your pencils and pens on your list.Do research on the stores in your area that allow lay-aways. This is a great help for families that are stretched for money. You can put clothes away and make low bi-weekly payments. Make sure that you do this early enough that you are not hurting for money to get them out.
Three: Set a Semi-Flexible Budget:
Sit down and decide how much you’re willing to spend on school supplies. Add (if possible) an extra twenty to fifty dollars to your money but Do Not go over that amount.
Four: Have a Family Meeting:
Some children are hell bent on having only the name brand items or they think they will die. It’s important to teach your children that status is not as important as who they are. One way around status issues is to involve your children in this entire process, allowing them the opportunity to see just how much things cost, and what parents have to go through in order to provide for them. This is not a way for you to make them feel guilty or bad about themselves and what they want, its simply a way for you to involve them in this and let them help.
Have them be responsible to look through the papers for deals, and prices. Let them know what the budget is, and that you cannot go over it. This will help them feel better about the situation, helps them feel like they are in control of the situation and part of the process.
Five: Go On-line:
You can also get really good deals over the Internet for school supplies. There are great sights that allow you to buy in bulk, which is a great thing to do if you can afford it. You can get pencils that last not just the year, but into the next year as well.
Six: Head Out:Take your money, your lists and hit the stores. Be flexible in what name brands you purchase. It’s not always about the name, its about the function. A pencil is a pencil, regardless of the name printed on the side.
Remember that you will need to go to more places if you want to really save money.
Once you get back home, sit down with your kids and pass out the items you bought. Never give a whole pack of pencils to your child. Open the pack and give them four pens, four pencils, etc. This way, the things you buy wont get lost, passed out to friends at school and you will have some set aside for later if needed.
It’s hard to save money these days, but it is possible as long as you’re willing to set aside the time to do. I do these things, and it really helps me and my family. I hope that it will help you as well.