Skip to main content

Image Magazine

Back to School on a Budget

Aug 28, 2014 12:02AM ● Published by Erin Frisch

While kids may be dreading going back to school, parents everywhere are most likely looking forward to it, with the exception of one part—possibly the only part kids do get excited about— back-to-school shopping. This annual rite can strain already-tight finances for many. If you’re looking for ways to save on back-to-school shopping, read on for some tips that can help.

Start by surveying what you already have. Take an inventory of the clothes in closets and dressers. Open up drawers and take out the contents. Decide what shape the clothing is in, what needs to be replaced, and what still fits and what doesn’t. Make a list of essentials and a list of those items that would be nice to have. Figure out what your budget will allow you to spend on new shoes and clothing. When you hit the stores, stick to your list of essentials; then, if there is money left over, choose one or two items from your nice-to-have list.

To save on clothes, organize a clothing swap or have a yard sale. Gather friends and neighbors with kids of different ages and sizes. Have everyone go through their kids’ closets and pull out items they are willing to swap. Most people have items in their wardrobe that have never been worn or have seen only light wear for one reason or another. This gives everyone involved a chance to update wardrobes while saving money. If you go the yard sale route, ask your kids to pick out items they are willing to part with, and tell them they can use the money they make to purchase new ones.

Try to recycle school supplies. Many items like backpacks, binders, and even notebooks can be recycled. Go through last year’s notebooks and tear out the few marked-up pages of those that are lightly used. Look through folders and recycle those that are still in good condition. Many binders hold up well over the school year and can be filled with new loose-leaf paper and recycled. Backpacks too can be updated and given new life with patches; some companies like Jansport even repair broken zippers and replace damaged backpacks for free. If you’re buying a new backpack, look for one with a lifetime warranty.

For great prices, check the dollar stores. Most dollar-store chains carry supplies like scissors, glue, pencils, pens, rulers, compasses, erasers, crayons, and more. Some even carry the brand names that you know and love, but you’ll get them for less than you’d spend at an office-supply chain store.

What tips and tricks can you share for sticking to your back-to-school shopping budget? Share with us below in the comments!

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Image's free newsletter to catch every headline

Life+Leisure City+School
  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/16/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Free Design Consultation!

    10/17/2017
    08:00AM — 04:00PM

    Free One Half Hour Design Consultation- This consultation allows for designers to meet with you t...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/17/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/18/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/20/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • CHaD Hero Fundraiser

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM

    Register to run, walk, hike, bike, and raise money at CHaD HERO. You can even register for a Virt...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/22/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/28/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/29/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Free Design Consultation!

    10/31/2017
    08:00AM — 04:00PM

    Free One Half Hour Design Consultation- This consultation allows for designers to meet with you t...


  • Over the Moon

    11/04/2017
    07:00PM

    OVER THE MOON is a fractured fairy tale that combines beloved childhood stories in a new, fresh a...


 

 


PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS


Northcape Design Build
Hanover Inn at Dartmouth
Ultimate Bath Store

Sean's Lawn N' Garden Services
Cabinetry Concepts
New London Inn & Coach House Restaurant