Frugal Flashback: Back to School Basics Top 10

This post is a “Frugal Flashback.”  That means I wrote it a year or two ago and wanted to “reshare” its updated content for the Money Saving Lords and Ladies who have joined the Court of the Queen of Free since then.  So if you get a deja vu sort of feeling, you might have read this before.  :) 

The Eldest Princess and her bus stop buddy circa 2009.
AND she no longer rides this bus # so don’t get antsy with me.  :)

Yesterday, I launched into some of my favorite money saving strategies when it comes to the Back to School shopping season.  Today, we continue with five more of my top tips!  Without further ado, here is Back to School Basics: Part Deux.

5) Hold the jeans.  It is h-o-t, h-a-w-t, HOT hot hot hot in Indiana when school starts.  So as unbelievably cute as that new fall wardrobe is, avoid it like the plague.  Instead, hit the clearance rack and snag some end of the summer bargains for the first month and beyond.  We tend to purchase one special outfit for the first day (which is also the official “Picture Day” uniform) and keep everything else at a minimum.  When the weather turns cold, crack out last year’s wardrobe and see what can work and what needs passed along before you hit the mall.
4) Budgets are the bomb.  You’ve heard me say it before, but budgets are the new black (a color that works well with budgets, we’ve found).  Seriously, you’ve got to plan for things like Back to School.  While you can control how much you spend on supplies by hitting the sales, you can’t control things like book fees, PTO fees, etc.  So you must plan.  I tend to budget at least six months out at a time so that we can see extra expenses coming and keep them from catching us off guard.  As usual, cash only in the store is the best way to go to keep your spending on track when it does come to supplies and clothes.
3) Pass on the budgeting bug.  The Eldest Princes is uber excited that this year, she gets to control some of the back-to-school budget.  She has a small amount with which she can choose some of her clothes.  Obviously there are parameters on what she can choose – it has to coincide with the school dress code (and the even more intense Queendom dress code), it has to be a need, and there are several items that need to be purchased with said budget.  But this move toward independence is exactly what preteens crave.  Help build responsibility while you wisely guide your child’s ability and spending.
2) Reward Yourself.  Been saving that Old Navy Groupon (oh, is that just me?) for something special?  Have some reward points that you can cash in for gift cards?  This is the perfect time of the year to make those little bonuses work for you so that you don’t have to pull cash out of the regular budget.
1) Need or Want?  Ah, the age old question that even toddlers are familiar with – “Is it a need or a want?”  It’s easy in the aisles to give way to every temptation.  But if you’re going slay the debt dragon or just manage your resources well, it’s a necessary mantra even for the big people.  Reign in your spending by taking 3-5 items out of your cart before you check out from a store.  Be intentional, Money Saving Lords and Ladies.  Otherwise, your cart will be piled high with things you won’t even end up using (can you say filler paper overload, King of Free?).

Still want more Back to School Savings Advice?  Two summers ago, I hosted a bonanza of guest posts with lots of ideas on how to save every which way when it comes to academia from the smallest to the most scholarly students.  Note for some reason the photos I used in this posts have now disappeared.  But the content is solid, so no worries.

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