I received compensation for this sponsored post, however my opinions are 100% my own.
It’s that time of year again. School will be starting up very soon, and you’ll need to pick up the necessities and must-haves. You don’t have to break the bank, though. Set a spending limit for school supplies, and shop at the discount store for the basics. Follow these 10 back-to-school budget-friendly tips to keep your expenses down.
1. Make a list. A good starting point is to use the back-to-school list provided by the school. Talk to your child about other needs for class projects and the daily commute.
2. Set aside a few dollars for your young shopper to spend on something that’s not on the list. This will cut down on the “Can I get this?” requests in the store, and help you teach your child about budgeting and making choices.
3. Before you go shopping, look through your inventory of leftovers from last year to see what you already have and what can be recycled for this year.
4. One way to save money on back-to-school supplies is to buy in bulk. It’s cheaper. Divvy up the spoils between your kids, saving some for later in the school year to cut down on costs. You can also get together with family, friends or the parents of your child’s classmates to buy the essentials in bulk, and share the savings.
5. Set up a box or a shelf in your child’s favorite homework spot for all of your extra school supplies, so you won’t forget they’re there.
6. When it comes to notebooks, binders, pens and rulers, stick to basic colors and geometric designs instead of trying to second-guess the popular trends. The fads will go out, and your child will be stuck with something half-used and out of style. This will probably be followed by a request for something new that doesn’t fit your budget.
7. Check to see if your state offers a tax-free window for buying school supplies. It does add up to savings.
8. Older children with lockers need extras for decoration and organization. Think small. While a large organizer bin or dry erase board might catch your eye, remember that school lockers are usually very skinny.
9. If you share custody, try to coordinate with the other parent to eliminate unnecessary doubles and avoid having the important things get lost in the back-and-forth shuffle.
10. Stickers and wrapping paper or shelf paper are cheap ways to decorate notebooks and lockers.
Back-to-school shopping can be a fun adventure with your kids. It’s also a good time to teach good spending habits. If you plan ahead before you go, your children can be ready for class without blowing your budget.
MJ is an independent writer for DollarTree.com. Dollar Tree offers great deals on office supplies, party supplies and more.