Parents of children who are school-age know that the back to school season can be one of the more costly times of the year. Whether your child is entering kindergarten or going back to finish up their last year of college, there are a lot of expenses that add up without us even realizing it. I offer some tips below of things to consider when saving money throughout the school year.
I know that packing lunches can seem like a hassle, especially for those working parents that just want to kick back when they get off work. Sending money for your child to buy lunch can seem convenient, but it can really add up in the long run. 5 to 10 dollars a day for the cafeteria or nearby restaurant can really add up, and cooking the night before can even become a fun group activity for you and your child. You are never too young to start cooking, with plenty of great online cooking guides for both beginners and pros. I found these recipes on the food network that are both tasty and easy to make!
If you have to buy stuff new, do research and buy stuff that lasts
Buying stuff new for young children (or those more chaotic teens) can be frustrating. There is nothing worse than spending over a hundred dollars on a product, for it only to last a few months once handed off to a little one. If you need to purchase new supplies for your child, it is important to do research on what lasts. Fjallraven backpacks are known to last a long time, and their Kanken brand is ideal for the back to school season. Shoes are something that I find go first with children, and it is good to take the time to research and invest in a pair that will last (This handy breakdown of durable brands can help when deciding what to pick for your little bud before sending them back to school). A great resource for researching is the r/buyitforlife subreddit.
Make a list of school supplies before shopping
It is important to make sure you search the house for school supplies that are still in working shape from past years before shopping for new supplies, as this can drastically cut back on costs while shopping for the back to school season. Alongside this, it’s great to compare prices online and do as much shopping online as possible: it can save you time spent fighting through other parents at back to school sales at your local stores and can help you find the best prices for those must have back to school essentials. This infographic from the Loan and Go resource page offers some great advice on simple tricks to save money while back to school shopping, as well as some interesting statistics on the Canadian school system.