7 Ways to Save Money on Back to School Spending


These seven ways to save money on school spending not only help you achieve your financial goals, they’ll help your kids learn the value of a dollar!

“On average, according to the National Retail Federation, a family with children in kindergarten through 12th grade will spend about $549 preparing for school each year,” says Ethan Ewing of Bills.com. “College students and their families will spend an average $618.”

Pictured is a “Back to School” kit for college students — Amazon has some unbeatable deals!









And, here are Ewing’s seven ways to save money when you’re going back to school…

7 Ways to Save Money on Back to School Spending  

1. Watch for back to school sales. Loss leaders at office supply stores are less common than last year, but many stores are still offering great buys. Take advantage of bargain-basement deals on needed school supplies, and stock up when possible.

2. Scour unlikely spots for deals. To save money, think outside the box. Grocery store aisles, for instance, might have school supplies on clearance by now. Thrift stores sometimes have new supplies at rock-bottom rates. If the price is right, stock up for this year – or next year!

3. Crunch lunch numbers. Instead of automatically ordering hot lunch or packing a lunchbox, check the real cost per day. The average cost of school lunches was $2.08 last year. While that may sound expensive compared to a simple homemade lunch, it is about half the price of many pre-made, packaged meals many kids like. Families who are seriously struggling economically can look into free or reduced-rate lunch programs for kids.

4. Buy used back to school items. Now known as “recycling,” it’s a great way to save money on back to school spending. Buy used textbooks and resell them as soon as the school year ends. When faced with a bigger buy, such as a high schooler’s calculator, investigate used and lower-cost sources such as eBay, Craigslist and online retailers.

5. Reuse the backpack. Evaluate automatic purchases. Kids don’t need a new backpack every year, or new sneakers simply because school is starting. Buy the things they really need, and wait for sales (and growth spurts) to inspire major wardrobe refashions.

6.  Stretch fashion dollars. When it comes to fashion, older kids demand labels. Thrift and consignment stores frequently have barely worn clothes for a fraction of the price. Also shop discount chains and look for your kids’ sizes (and labels) on eBay. Some parents offer to pay the price of a standard garment, and let tweens and teens pay the difference if they want the brand name.

7. Plan meals for the whole family. Take advantage of the back to school season’s organizing spirit to save money for the whole family. By planning meals and saving money on the grocery bill, families can eat better and save more than resorting to takeout at the end of an exhausting day. Plus, home-cooked meals provide a great way for families to stay in touch once the school year begins.





Are you unhappy in your relationship? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage and FREE relationship advice from Mort Fertel, founder of the Marriage Fitness Program.









Need encouragement? Get a beautiful FREE "She Blossoms" 2019 calendar when you sign up for my free weekly Blossom Tips!

One Blossom Tip a week. Short and sweet. You'll love it.

* indicates required



For more ways to save money on back to school spending, read Tips for Kids, Their Allowance, and Going Back to School.

If you’re a college student with a loan, you might find 6 Ways to Avoid Major Student Loan Debt for College Students helpful.

Bills.com is a free website for people to learn about personal finance issues, credit cards, debt relief assistance, insurance, mortgages, and other loans.


Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books

Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back She Blossoms Laurie Pawlik
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back - to help you walk through loss into a new season of life. I share glimpses into my life with a schizophrenic mother, living in foster homes, teaching in Africa, and coping with infertility. Woven through the book are practical, encouraging Blossom Tips to help you grow and flourish!






How to Let Go of Someone You Love She Blossoms Laurie Pawlik

How to Let Go of Someone You Love - Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart After a Breakup. Do you feel like you'll never get over your broken heart? This ebook - available immediately - will help you heal. It's time to let go of what was, and embrace what will be.





When You Miss Him Like Crazy She Blossoms Laurie Pawlik

When You Miss Him Like Crazy - 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup! You miss him desperately right now, but you won't always feel this way. This warm, comforting ebook will give you the tools, encouragement and strength you need to move through the pain and start blossoming - today!








Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “7 Ways to Save Money on Back to School Spending

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Thanks for this money saving tip, CollegeGirl! Every little bit counts — and it’s definitely worth it to research different cell phone plans.

  • CollegeGirl

    I wasn’t using my phone too much when I moved to college. Most of my friends lived on campus, and I had a landline to communicate with my family. But I still needed a cell phone for emergencies. I heard about prepaid phones and thought they were kinda bogus. I did research and found that I was completely wrong! I bought a prepaid cell phone and love it. It’s super cheap (a great price for what I need it for) and super easy to use.