Summer break is almost over (I know, the time flew by didn’t it), and it’s time to make preparations for the new school year. The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time for kids. As a parent, you’ll want to make sure that you’re ready for the new school year as well.
Now is the perfect time to start planning. We have daily planners, a chore chart, menu planner and more.
There is also an all about me keepsake printable. This is a fun way to look back at how much your child has grown over the year.
Help your kids get off to a great start, and ensure that you stay organized with these free printables.
It’s back to school season, and you’ve got a lot to buy. Whether it’s new clothing, school supplies or, computers, just thinking of all of the money you may have to spend can send your stress levels through the roof.
But with some careful planning, and these simple tips, you are sure to save some dollars on your back to school budget.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
How To Save Money
Re-use supplies from last year
Before you plan your shopping trip, take a look at last year’s school supplies, and see if they are in good condition.
Backpacks, lunchboxes, sporting equipment, binders, and other supplies can often be reused this school year.
During your search, you may even find unopened packages of pencils, ink pens, crayons, markers, and other useful items that you may have forgotten about.
Purchase items in bulk
You can multiply your savings by purchasing supplies in bulk. When items go on sale, purchase extra items and set some aside to use later in the school year. I like to purchase extra’s for the next school year as well.
Use coupons and cashback apps
Save extra cash by using paper coupons, or online coupons. If clipping coupons isn’t your thing, maximize your savings by using cashback apps like Ibotta.
This back to school season, Ibotta is excited to be giving away FREE items to send kids back to school the right way. That’s right – 100% cash back on a variety of school snacks and supplies. Ibotta has teamed up with some of our favorite brands to celebrate the new school year.
When you download the Ibotta app or browser extension, get 100% cash back on back-to-school essentials to start your kid’s year off right with full backpacks and lunchboxes!
How Ibotta’s Back to School Free-for-All works:
Download Ibotta to start earning cash back on things you buy every day. Get the app on your phone or the browser extension for your computer (better yet: both!).
Choose where you want to shop for school supplies: Walmart Pickup & Delivery, Target Online, HEB Online, Instacart, or Shipt.
Link your retailer account, then add back to school offers to your list (from the browser extension window).
Shop and check out like you always do. You’ll get your 100% cash back 24 hours after your grocery order is picked up or delivered!
Using apps will give you cash-back just for signing up and shopping! Rakuten and Ibotta are a couple of my favorite apps to use, and the cash back savings really add up.
Buy generics or store brands
Swap those expensive brand names for generic or store brand products whenever possible. Generic doesn’t automatically mean less quality. The quality of store brands is typically as good as brand name products, and you can save several coins.
Recycle those clothes
What child doesn’t want new clothes when they head back to school? But before spending money on an all-new wardrobe, take inventory of what’s in your child’s closet. If clothes from last school year fit comfortably, they can wear those at the start of the school year.
Remember that prices typically go down around September, so you may want to put off shopping for new clothes until then. Simply purchase one or two outfits, along with accessories for your kids to wear when school starts.
Another way to save is to check out your local thrift stores and consignment shops. You can often find good quality clothing at really low prices.
Lastly, recycle clothing among siblings. If one child has outgrown certain items, simply pass them down to the younger ones.
Take advantage of tax-free weekend
If your state participates, take advantage of the tax-free weekend for your back to school shopping. Below is a list of tax free days by state, along with the items that you are allowed to purchase.
Alabama: July 16-18, 2021 (clothing, computers, school supplies, and books)
Arkansas: August 7-8, 2021 (clothing and accessories, electronic devices, school supplies, art supplies, and instructional books)
Connecticut: August 15-21, 2021 (clothing and footwear)
Florida: July 31-August 9, 2021 (clothing and accessories, footwear, school supplies, and computers)
Iowa: August 6-7, 2021 (clothing)
Maryland: August 8-14, 2021 (clothing, footwear, and energy star products)
Massachusetts: August 14-15 2021 (most purchases under $2,500)
Mississippi: July 30-31, 2021 (clothing, footwear, and school supplies)
Missouri: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, computers, and energy star products)
New Mexico: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, computers, computer equipment, and school supplies)
Ohio: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing and school supplies)
Oklahoma: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing and footwear)
South Carolina: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, and computers)
Tennessee: July 30- August 1, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, computers, food, food ingredients, and prepared food)
Texas: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, backpacks, and school supplies)
Virginia: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, and energy star products)
With some or all of the tips that I’ve outlined above, I’m sure you’ll find a few ways to save and cut down on your back to school shopping bill.
Wishing you and your family all the best this school year!
The start of a new school year is often stressful for both parents and kids. But there are ways that you can alleviate some of those stresses.
Now that you’ve completed all of the back-to-school shopping, how about implementing a few mom hacks to help make your mornings a little less chaotic.
Trust me, getting your back to school routine in order is by no means easy, but I believe these clever hacks can certainly help to smooth the transition.
Wake up before everyone else does
I know it can be hard to crawl out of bed in the mornings, but taking a few moments to enjoy some quiet time before everyone else wakes up will do wonders for your day.
Go ahead and enjoy your coffee in peace, look over your calendar, or maybe get a quick shower. Just remember that those few minutes belong to you.
Simplify your breakfast routine
Choose breakfast items that are quick and easy. Keep a bowl of fruit handy. Cereal is also a good choice. Try whipping up a batch of pancakes or even a breakfast casserole on the weekend and freeze it to have later in the week.
And by choosing a meal that is quick, doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. Try one of these healthy breakfast recipes.
Prepare your kids wardrobe for the week
I try to iron my son’s clothes for the week on Saturday nights (or Sunday’s). I typically will iron a week’s worth of clothes and hang them on the back of his closet door. That way he can help choose what he wants to wear each day.
Allow your kid’s to help pick out their clothes for the week. Iron each piece and either hang them or fold them neatly and place in a drawer so that they are easily accessible.
Wash a load of clothes daily
Am I the only one who hates doing laundry? To avoid massive loads of laundry at the end of the week, toss in a load every day. That way you can wash, fold and put away a basket each day.
Planning our meals for the week is one of the biggest time savers for me. I mean, who wants to spend time every day trying to decide what’s for dinner? I typically take a little time on Thursday’s to write out my menu for the next week as well as my shopping list. You could also menu plan for the entire month if that works better for you.
I love quick and easy meals. I typically opt for casseroles or crockpot meals because they are simple to prepare, and I can just toss the ingredients into a crockpot or baking dish and relax while it cooks.
Create a backpack zone
Give your kids a defined space to hang up their backpacks, coats and other items when they walk through the door. This way no one is complaining that they can’t find their backpack when it’s time to head out the door in the morning.
Add a family command station
We have a centralized area in our home where we keep a family calendar, home notebook, bills, and important papers.
This area helps to keep everyone organized. We are able to keep up with keys, Dr.’s appointments, important school dates, homework and even charge our phones.
Need ideas for a command station? Read this post by The Turquoise Home.
Keep after-school snacks readily available
If your kiddo is anything like mine, they are hungry as soon as they walk through the door from school.
I keep a variety of snack choices ready in a basket in the pantry. There is also a snack tub in the fridge with fruit cups and apple slices (his favorites). You can add yogurt cups or any other type of fruit that your kids may like.
Prepare lunches the night before
If you send your child’s lunch to school like I do, you’ll save so much time by assembling everything the night before. Prepare sandwiches, fruit or veggies and snacks along with a drink choice and you’re all set.
The next morning, your child can just grab their lunchbox and they are ready to go.
Tidy up daily
Take a few minutes each day to put items back where they belong. Clean the kitchen as you cook. Wipe the bathroom sink and toilet with disinfectant wipes daily, and do a major clean twice a week.
At one point in time, I spent my entire weekend cleaning. Not anymore! I learned that by tidying up daily, I lighten my load for the weekend. That leaves me with more time to spend with my family.
Share some of your favorite hacks for a simplified back-to-school routine.
It’s almost time to head back to school. Those lazy, carefree days of summer are about to be over, which means no more staying up late and sleeping in. Help get your kid’s school year off to a great start by establishing a back to school routine.
To get them back into the swing of things, you will need to implement your plan as early as possible. The longer you wait to get your children into the habit of going to bed at a set time, the harder time they will have getting up for school the next morning.
This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you purchase through my link.
You as a parent will also want to make sure that you are prepared as well. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for supplies and other school essentials.
Before you get overwhelmed, consider these tips for easing back into the school routine.
A good day starts with a good night’s sleep
It’s not unusual for parents to allow their children to stay up later during the summer than during the school year. My son stays up past midnight on occasion during the summer and then, of course, sleeps late the next morning.
If possible, have your child start going to bed earlier two weeks before school starts. Explain to your children the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep will help them have the energy they need to stay awake during school. It will also help them focus on the tasks before them.
Wake up at the same time every morning
Most experts agree children need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night to be at their best. Make sure that your child wakes up in time to wash, dress and have breakfast without feeling rushed.
Stock up on school supplies
Most schools will give you a specific list of supplies that will be needed, but you can make sure you have the basics on hand: pencils, paper, erasers, and for younger kids, you will need to add crayons, markers, and glue.
Prepare your wardrobe the night before
By preparing your wardrobe the night before, your child won’t feel rushed or waste precious time in the morning by trying to decide on what to wear. I am a huge advocate of preparing for the next day the night before.
Have your child gather clothing, shoes, and any accessories that they plan to wear at night so that things will go smoothly the next morning.
Arrange carpools or other transportation
Know how your child is getting to and from school and any after-school activities. Make sure that transportation arrangements have been made ahead of time.
Register for after-school activities
In order to ensure that your child gets to participate in the activities of his/her choice, remember to sign up before the deadline.
Stay on top of paperwork
Go through any papers sent home with your child on a daily basis. Read each piece, then decide if you should trash it, or put it in a “to do” or “to file” pile. Mark significant dates on your family calendar.
Create a command center or calendar central
Create a centralized place or command center like the one above by Style & Dwell , for all family calendars and schedules in order to avoid over scheduling. I personally use the Day Designer as my family’s calendar.
Choose a calendar format that works for your family. Include a family event calendar to track all after-school activities and any special school programs. Be sure to include school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, and sports practice schedules. Post your family calendar in a place that is easily accessible to all family members.
We as parents want the best for our kids. By getting your kids re-adjusted to a routine before school starts, they are more alert. When kids are more alert, they are able to function at their best, which of course is our ultimate goal. Here’s to an awesome school year!