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If you’re like many Americans, you’ll be looking for ways to save money this school year. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to do that. Instead of buying new books, learning new skills, or spending more on school supplies, you can simply reduce your interest in school and save money on back to school expenses.
Here are simple strategies that will have you saving at least $600 a year:
Avoid Over billed stores
Instead of shopping for school supplies at the end of summer, when the kids are bored and antsy to get back to school, shop for those essentials in the spring when you’re feeling calm and ready to start the new school year.
Stores have their best deals and markdowns at the end of the season, and you can avoid spending a ton of money on items you don’t need. When buying your school supplies, avoid the expensive “more is better” philosophy, and focus instead on buying the essentials your child needs to succeed.
Outfit your kids for school
If your school allows your child to wear their own clothes, consider buying them over-the-counter and outfitting your kids with items that are both stylish and affordable. Look for sales and buy online at sites like Amazon and Target, where you can often find name-brand clothing that is gently used and shipped to your door.
Don’t skimp on food
If you have kids who will be eating school lunches, make sure you purchase quality food that will keep them healthy and well fed. Many schools are now requiring that lunches meet certain nutritional standards for kids, and a cheap, unhealthy lunch can result in a hefty fine. Buy foods that are high in protein, have lots of vitamins and minerals, and keep your kids full and focused during the day.
Play local instead of national sports
If your child is interested in playing a school sport, make sure you choose the local variety over the nationally recognized one. This can save you money in many ways.
The local sport may be less competitive, and therefore less demanding than its nationally recognized cousin, so your child may only need to attend a few practices a week. This can save you money on childcare, gas, and travel. The nationally recognized sport may require your child to attend practices five nights a week, and this could make it near impossible to make it to their other commitments.
Plan ahead for school supplies
If your school provides a list of supplies like this your child will need, start saving for school as soon as you get that list. This will allow you to take advantage of the sales that occur in the summer months, and it will give you time to shop for the best deals. It’ll also allow you to start a fund for gifts that your kids’ teachers will likely be receiving at this time of year.
When it comes to your kids’ education, there are always ways to save money. The best way to save money on back to school is to start planning months in advance. You can find deals, coupons and discounts for school supplies, uniforms and more.
However, it is important to be smart about it. You don’t want to go into debt over your kids’ education. With these simple strategies in place, you can be sure that your children are well equipped to benefit from the education they are receiving. And you can rest assured that you’ve done everything in your power to keep their costs low.