Top 10 Back to School Money Saving Tips 

 Originally Written: August 31, 2017

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on September 21, 2017 by Hanna Trafford

Back to school time is definitely stressful. I am sure you are already worried about saving money and how to manage to buy everything your child needs and wants before starting the new school year. And as every parent, you want to make sure that you can provide for everything.

But some ways of doing that are better than others – here are my most useful tips – based on past experiences. Hope it is helpful to you and I will greatly appreciate if you add to this list, as I am sure you have other experiences that you could share!

back to school

Top 10 Back to School Money Saving Tips:

1. Check your home inventory first:

I don’t know about you but I always find things at home that I have put away some time ago and just forgot I had them. If you have more than one child going back to school – there is a good chance you have some items at home you will not need to buy.

2. Make a shopping list:

Detailed one is a very good idea! Because if you don’t, you are likely to buy things you don’t really need for back to school. So the bottom line here to avoid unnecessary purchases.

It is a very good idea to make the list with your child. That way you will be able to avoid your child suddenly remembering that he needs something when he sees it on the store shelf.

3. Set a budget and set limits:

Again – a good idea is to get your child involved in setting the budget limits and boundaries. You may want to bring a calculator with you to the store and keep your child updated on the budget status as things are being added to the shopping cart.

4. Check out flyers with specials:

This step can be a big help when doing your shopping list with your child. Going over advertised special items will help you decide where to do your Back to School shopping.

And if there are coupons, have your child cut them out and see just how much money can be saved.

5. Look for and buy used books:

If you need to purchase books for going back to school, check with used book stores or contact your school for information about where you can possibly purchase used books.

Or, if you have friends with children in higher grades, check with them – they may have what you are looking for.


6. Check for student discounts:

This applies specifically to you if you are planning on purchasing electronics – check different retailers and do not be afraid to ask if they offer special discounts.


7. Check out Thrift stores for clothing:

I have found brand new items in a local thrift store – with tags still on them and at a fraction of the department store price! There are real treasures to be found – it may take a little more time but trust me – it can work very well for your wallet!

8. Shop ahead and shop smart:

If your budget and your wallet will allow it, and when you see a really good bargain, buy enough to last – not just what is needed for the first month of school. It will work well for you in the long run.

9. Another clothing tip:

You may want to wait for your children to determine what the trends are. There is a very good chance that the items on the list will change as she sees what is in and what isn’t in.

You might be able to avoid some discussions on that subject that you would rather not have.

10. Go Homemade:

I am talking about lunches specifically here. Things like drinking boxes can be easily replaced by having your child choose their own drinking bottle and filling it with juice that is already in your fridge.

The same thing goes for things like puddings, snacks – just look for reusable containers and use them as much as possible instead of spending money on prepared lunch items. This works really well if you get your child involved in preparation process – it will be the lunch they will eat if they put it together themselves.

Your comments, additions, and suggestions are most welcomed here – please share!


Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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  • Thank you for the tips, I would like to add one. This tip I would like to share is really effective in saving money. When you’re at work or still studying, just prepare a pack lunch for yourself or for your kids/family. Packing a lunch will allow you to bring what you know is healthy and good for your health. Eating at fast food lane, or at cafeteria will only increase your expense and waste your time. It is better to take your break, when you can relax in your seat and having a meal that you love to eat. 😉

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