by Rebecca Bradshaw
Sending the kids back to school after summer break can be a hectic time, filled with added expense, new routines, and busier than ever schedules. Reduce some of the stress with these tips on how to save money and stay organized as you get the kids back to school.
Know What They’ll Need:
When it comes to back to school shopping, one of the easiest ways to save money and get organized at the same time is by knowing what your kids will need before school even begins. Most schools post a list of necessary items by grade on their websites before summer’s end. Get organized at home first by sorting through the supplies you already have, and discarding anything that is no longer usable. Visit dollar, craft, and discount stores for the best prices on supplies.
The same rule of knowing what’s on hand applies to shopping for back to school clothing as well—sort through last year’s school clothes to see what needs to be replaced or can be passed along to a younger child. Take the opportunity to organize your kids’ closets with DIY shoe caddies and storage bins; you’ll save yourself frustrating last minute searches for that missing shoe or mitten later on.
Set up an Organization Station:
Getting the family ready for work and school in the morning can be chaotic. Streamline the process by designating a spot near the front door to keep everything the kids will need for school that day. Use wall pockets or magazine caddies from the discount store to hold schoolwork in color coded folders, and keep permission slips or other important papers from getting lost by clipping them to an inexpensive oversized calendar; use it to note everything from when assignments are due to school holidays.
Do Lunch Right:
Nothing is worse on a rushed morning than realizing you didn’t pack school lunches the night before. Solve the problem by organizing areas of your kitchen to speed up the lunch packing process. Keep grab and go items in clear storage containers in your refrigerator—they’ll make it easy to see when supplies are running low. Give a kitchen cabinet the same lunch-only designation and use it to store lunch boxes, sandwich bags, and frequently used items such as peanut butter. Stay ahead of the game and save money by planning lunches a week in advance and buying snack items in bulk.
Get a Handle on Homework:
Good organization is equally important at the end of the day when everyone is home from school with projects and homework to be done. Get the kids into the routine of hitting the books after school by deeming an area of your home as a homework zone, complete with bought-in-bulk school supplies. Forego spending lots of money on a new laptop for the kids by buying a refurbished model from a computer repair or office supply store, or ask friends and family if they have an older system they’d be willing to pass along.
Stay organized, save money, and have a great school year!
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