For a lot of families, back to school time can be a time of hardship. The cost of school supplies can stack up quickly. As a mom of three school-aged kiddos I know I was concerned about what BTS costs would like for us this year, so I decided to make a printable and shop the sales.
Using this printable I was able to get all of our basic school supplies for under $20 a child – this did not include the big purchases such as instruments, computers, etc. but it did cover the basics such as clothes, backpacks, pens, and notebooks.
So how did I do it?
How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping
The very first thing I did was print out a couple sheets of our Back to School Shopping Printable for each child. For my younger child I only used one sheet but for my third graders I used about 3-4.
On these sheets I wrote down everything that was on the shopping list the school handed out.
Then I headed to their closest and did a massive clean out. I pulled out everything that they had outgrown and sorted it into ruined, hand-me-down/donate, and sellable. For the clothes that were in a good enough quality to sell, I packed them up and took them to our local children’s consignment shop.
Now in the last five years, we have lived in seven states – some have had awesome children consignment options and some were absolute nightmares. Currently, we are living in a city with an amazing consignment shop. After dropping off all the kids clothes I had a little under $100 in-store credit. I took those gift cards and waited for a sale. When the consignment store ran its quarterly 10 for $10 clear out we headed back and knocked most of the clothing off of our list using the store credit.
Then I took what we had left on the list and started searching.
When I sat down to do my search I created one folder for each child. This way as I found coupons or sales in flyers I was able to place them in the folder. I searched flyers and online as well as checking coupon apps such as Cartwheel to find the best deals. I also looked at items that we needed to stock up on such a diapers that had gift card incentives with purchase. Even though those items were not back to school items, I was able to use those gift cards on a different transaction for our back to school supplies.
It was a bit time consuming but definitely worth it! Total at check out was $538 and total price paid was $64.21 — definitely worth the time spent if you ask me 😉