Back-to-School #Moneysavingtips: Grade School & High School

money-saving-tips-for-back-to-schoolWe Canadians will be digging a little deeper into our  pockets during this year’s back-to-school shopping season according to new survey

A Pollara survey, funded by the Bank of Montreal, says Canadians intend to shell out an average of $428 per child on items such as school supplies, clothing and technology as their kids head back to class.

That’s an increase of 18.2 per cent over last year, when parents planned to spend an average of $362 per child.

Of course there are always ways to save, so here’s a list of helpful hints gathered from all over the place to get that number down:

Hold off buying trendier gear like lunch boxes and pencil cases. Kids may love a version they picked up over the summer, but once they start school and see that their friends are all using another kind, they’ll beg you for an upgrade  — and you’ve just doubled your outlay.

Shop end-of-summer sales. Your kids wear short sleeve polo shirts all year long, so wait and hit the big summer sales and snap up that discounted stuff that can be worn well into fall.

Stick to The List. The school’s supply list at the start of a new school year is all you’ll need to go by. Don’t spend money on unlisted items that will probably never get used and probably will be thrown away.

Head to the grocery store for basic supplies. Check weekly circulars for great deals on pens and loose-leaf paper, and get your weekly grocery shopping done at the same time. Buying everything in one place saves time, earns you extra bonus points if you have a loyalty card (and if you don’t, you really should), and saves gas money!

wl_save_internetLet your kids raid the home-office supplies, then personalize them in unique ways. For example, decorate inexpensive plain, white binders with digital photos by creating a collage and inserting the page into the plastic outer cover.

Plan lunch. Food costs are increasing faster than Canadian income, so you have to learn how to optimize your grocery shopping. Use the weekly flyers and make a meal plan for the upcoming week.

…and one more, for you if your kid is the type who loses everything:

Buy bright. Lost school supplies may be a given, but gear that’s hard to miss can stave off the inevitable. Pack all their pencils, erasers, and other goodies into a bright backpack or pencil pouch to keep them from disappearing.

Tomorrow we’ll post some serious #moneysavingtips for your college and university aged kids.


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