Back to school shopping isn’t very big in our house. We don’t buy the kids new wardrobes, a bunch of school supplies, & haircuts unless needed. This year we budgeted $100/ older kids ($300 total) & $25/ little one ($50 total) for little ones. To some this may seem like a lot, but to others this a small budget, but for us this is just right.
Staying within our budget is a must, since there isn’t any extra money. What helps keep me in budget is instead of buying by what the kids or I want, we buy by what we need. It’s a simple concept but the follow through is what gets you. It’s something that took me a long time to understand, grasp, & commit too.
Yesterday, I took the girls (my 1st & 2nd grader plus my Sophomore) shopping, which ended up being lots of fun. Our day started out by taking advantage of a favorite local business of ours celebrating their 23rd anniversary and offering a bunch of free services like eyebrow waxing. What teen girl would pass up a free eyebrow waxing? I took my oldest daughter and we had some mom & me time doing our eyebrows together for free. That was a savings of $40.00 ($30 for 2 waxings plus $5 tip x2). What an exciting way to start our day, saving money, bonding, & having a little fun together.
At Goodwill, we found some pretty good deals as well as a they special sale going on where you get $5 off a $25 purchase. I got two brand new backpack for cheaper than I would be able to get one everywhere else, only $7 ea. Originally, my girls wanted character backpacks, but I explained to them how much more it would cost us for that and we wouldn’t have been able to get a new 1st day outfit for them, but left the choice up to them. They thought about it and decided on going with the cheaper backpack because they wanted a new 1st day outfit. So I saved $31.00. My oldest got two nice pieces of clothing for $3 ea, one being brand new.
Next, we stopped at a consignment store that was a bust since it was super expensive. They had backpacks for $40! It’s insane how much money people spend for back to school stuff. Our last stop was Target, which I did extremely well.
At Target I made a plan to only buy what we need in order for the kids have a great 1st week, which helped me get the spend less. Before shopping, I knew what all 5 kids needed for them to start school. I went through their clothing & supplies making sure to not buy anything that wasn’t needed. Being organized is a big key in saving money. I’m not very organized person overall but I am when it comes to being frugal.
In each dept, I made sure to hit up the clearance section 1st, which helped me score some great deals like 2 cute colorful matching dresses for $20 with cute sneakers for $7.00. It’s a tradition that my girls get matching outfits for 1st day of school & holidays. It’s more for me but while they still like doing it, I’ll continue on with our tradition. After all our shopping, I can happily report that I was under budget by $2.77 which of course made me smile. My frugality sure paid off. Not only did we save a lot of money, but I got to have a fun day with the girls, sharing my frugalness with them.
This type of shopping may not appeal to a lot of you out there, but for us it’s the only way to shop. Why buy a new lunch box when you have a good one from last year that works and does it job? Why buy unnecessary clothing that’ll take up space, when you already have more than enough at home? Think about it, it’s such a waste of money buying things we already have just because it’s from last year or doesn’t look as new as it once did. Instead save your money and put it towards something you need or something that’s important to you. Try washing something that is a bit dirty, use heavy duty stain removers if needed. Or try adding some new bling to your last year items, making it new again. Or throw a few stickers of their favorite characters on something, making it fun again. My kids have everything they needed to make the 1st day/week enjoyable, fun, & successful. Isn’t that what back to school shopping is about?
What is the best back to school deal you scored? Got any tips on how to keep your back to school shopping budget friendly?
Create With Joy,