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I always loved back to school time. My daughter and I would head out on several occasions for all the back to school essentials and then some.
Of course, this was back in the day when I was a super overshopper, and so we racked up quite a big bill each August to the tune of 1K.
When she went to college, it was worse.
This year the average family will spend $488. Still a hefty amount of money for the average family.
Here are my best back to school hacks that will save you time, money and probably your sanity.
Back To School Hacks That Are As Easy As 1-2-3
Keep Only the Favorites
- Still, have a backlog of last year’s schoolwork? Sift through it with your kids. Create a “yes” and “no” pile. Keep only your favorites in scrapbooks or frames and recycle the rest.
Take Inventory of What You Already Own
- Take inventory of your kid’s wardrobe. Determine what still fits and is wearable. Then sit down with you children and identify the pieces of clothing the want to buy. Discuss the budget with them too (it’s never too early to teach your kids about money) and then stick with it!
- Create your school supply list. Then go room to room and find what you already have that’s still in good working order. You don’t need another pair of scissors if you already have three. To make sure you always have the list on hand, scan or take a picture of it if it’s not in a digital format.
Teach Organization Early
- Teach your child how to be organized and remember important information all year by making sure they have an academic planner. Make sure it has large pages for recording assignments and after school activities.
Save, Save, Save
- Save online coupons, photos of online circulars and discount codes for your favorite stores in an album on your smartphone. Make sure to check the web or download deal-tracking apps for even more discounts. Apps like CardStar an app that allows you to access loyalty cards. Follow sites like How To Shop For Free for step by step ways to save the most money on literally anything!
Do You Need Easy?
- Some schools sell teacher approved pre-packaged school supply kits as a fundraiser. Although super convenient, it could cost you more money in the long run. You’ll have to decide if you want easy vs cheap.
Get On A Routine
- One week before school starts, work on getting everyone on a new wake up routine. Go to bed early, wake up early, pick up the room, eat breakfast, and get out the door without much hassle.
Create More Space
- Before the end of summer arrives, install double hanging rods in the kid’s closets to gain double the space for kids clothes. Add a high ledge for out of season garments. Use canvas storage containers on a shelf to keep folded items like tees in plain sight. Shoe organizers can help kids find both shoes instead of searching the pile on the floor of mismatched sneakers. Place a kids’ laundry basket in a user-friendly spot like inside the closet or a corner of their room or bathroom.
Keep It Simple
- Make lunch simple by consolidating sandwich ingredients such as cold cuts, juice boxes, and condiments in one container in the fridge. Designate another for bread.
Prep In Advance
- Prep snacks in advance. Fill up baggies for the entire week and label accordingly. This is a great activity to have your kids do on their own.
- Create an after school snack station with healthy choices like fruit, carrot sticks, and hummus. Put them in one bin on a lower shelf for easy access. You can do the same thing in your pantry with snacks like granola bars, raisins, and nuts.
- How does your child like to do their homework? On the bed? Consider a lap table to make it easier. Enjoys sitting at a desk? Create homework spaces conducive to your child’s style. Use a desk for added storage or desks without drawers use labeled bins, stacked letter trays or hanging wall pockets.
Gym To Go
- Pack gym clothes in a lightweight drawstring bag or tote and keep in the closet by the door so that the kids can grab and go!
Organize That Locker
If your child’s locker is a mess and they can’t find what they need quickly consider purchasing LockerBones to help create organization in an otherwise disorganized mess.
Donate Old Clothes and Make Money
- Kids grow like weeds. Why not donate gently used clothes that no longer fit.