Do you dread that time of the year when your kids have to go back to school? You’re not alone. Research shows households across the nation are spending some billions of dollars every year on things like lunchbox snacks, stationeries, outfits, after school activities and so on.
If you do not plan your budget well ahead for this time, you may find yourself in a soup. At the same time, you might not feel great about shooting down every request that your child makes. After all, you do want your kids to look cool, but are also not quite ready to blow your budget. How do you find the middle ground?
Here are some tips to make your kids look cool in school without putting a dent in your wallet.
- Budget to Set Expectations
It is always wise to decide on a budget and to stick to it. While listing all the items required, you can include inputs from your kids too. It is a wonderful opportunity to get them involved in the budgeting process. But also remember to put realistic boundaries upfront on what can and cannot be purchased.
- Take Stock of Your Inventory
First look at what you have. Take some time to go through your kid’s stationery, closets, and drawers and make a list of items needed. Get stock of your kid’s supplies before going out to make fresh purchases. This way you’ll know exactly what you have, what you can re-use, and what you need to buy.
- Shop Smart
Shopping at thrift or consignment stores can be a big saver. Because kids grow fast, they outgrow their clothes in no time. Most of the clothes you find at these stores are in almost-new condition. If you are lucky you may even find unused clothes with their tags still on.
You can also use various gift cards and discount coupons to cut down on extra expenses. These gift cards and coupons are available at various retail stores. This though requires some planning beforehand but it does help you save even more. Also, watch out for seasonal or clearance sales.
- Repurpose and Reuse
Items that are in good condition from the previous year can be re-used with a little creativity. You can use fabric paint, stickers, pretty paper, and glue to give them a facelift and they will be good to go for another year. Adding a touch of your kid’s personality to their items can make them fall in love with these repurposed items even if they aren’t brand new. Similarly, you can jazz up thrifted or even old clothes by adding some cool DIY spin on them. Pinterest has loads of great ideas.
- Get Crafty With Lunches
School canteens are often pricey and there’s no way of knowing whether your kids finish their meals served at school. Therefore, packing lunches for them will be lighter on the pocket, and also better for your child.
Wondering how to make an interesting lunch? Check out these easy to make and affordable recipes that even the fussiest kids will love. Pack them in personalised bento boxes for school and rest assured, they will have fun and relish every bite of food.
- Practice Bulk Buying
Purchasing in bulk is an easy way to save extra dollars. You can buy items that are frequently such as notebooks, pens, paper clips, and other stationaries in bulk. You can stock up on chips, cookies, and other non-perishables such as ziplock bags, paper towels, and tissues. Sometimes you may find school supplies being sold at your local grocery store and at fairly cheap prices. With a little luck, you may be able to buy all your supplies under the same roof.
Now you can look forward to your kids returning to school after the holidays and not worry about it burning a big hole in your pocket. A little planning, preparation, and thought can go a long way indeed!