In preparation for the new school year, one of the things that parents may fear most is an empty wallet. Whether it is school supplies or new clothes, these costs can be a substantial blow to your finances, leaving you feeling completely broke. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can successfully manage your money without spending a good amount of money.
The following are some money-saving tips to help you prepare for a frugal school year:
- Purchase the basics. Instead of spending extra money on pre-decorated items, such as colorfully-patterned pencils and folders adorned with their favorite cartoon characters, buy the basic ones and have your children decorate these items themselves. They can use markers, stickers, and even photographs you already possess.
- Take advantage of the sales. School supplies typically go on sale at every store or supermarket prior to the beginning of the school year. You could also look for coupons in store flyers and online.
- Don't purchase brand new clothes unless it is necessary. You can start by going through your children's closets, noting what still fits and what needs to be discarded. It is imperative to do so before shopping, so you can just buy what you need. Make sure you begin your search at thrift stores, garage sales, and even online stores that sell used clothes. However, if uniforms are required, check to see if the school has a uniform exchange or used uniform sale.
- Get food in bulk. If you children are going to be taking their lunches to school, buying in bulk is the best course of action. Knowing what you will be preparing five days a week can make it easier, and it saves you money. Avoid purchasing prepackaged foods, but buy bags or boxes of what they enjoy and separate them on your own using sandwich bags.
- Request a discount. If you child is planning on participating in any extracurricular activities require fees, you could always ask the teacher or instructor if they have any discounts available. If enrollment fees are a concern, see if they can be paid in installments.
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