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      forget to use the coupons when you make your purchase.
When you are looking at the long list of supplies that schools hand out, determine what they need right away and what can be purchased at a later time. You will be able to get school supplies at clearance prices
if you simply wait until September. This is also a great time to stock up on commonly needed items for the following school year. “Purchase items in advance when possible.” says mom Fia Swartwood. “Clearance
sales after school starts are a great time
to stock up on paper, spiral notebooks, folders, and writing utensils.” Many families feel the need to buy their children a new fall wardrobe when school returns but it’s perfectly reasonable to delay purchasing new clothing as temperatures are still too warm for fall and winter clothing when kids start school. This gives parents a chance to buy items over time or as needed instead of purchasing everything at once. “I shop clearance items after every season and guess on sizing for the following year.” says Katlyn Purkapile, mom of three.
As a mom of six, my biggest money- saving tip for back-to-school shopping is to simply leave the kids home. I arrive at the store with a list of school supplies needed. If my daughter were with me, she would ask for the sparkliest unicorn notebook which costs twice as much as the plain pink one I would pick. It’s faster and more efficient if I shop for the supplies alone. When picking out clothes, backpacks, and lunchboxes, it’s reasonable to bring kids along so they can pick out something to
fit their tastes. Prior to shopping, give your kids a set budget and let them pick something they like that fits within it.
In order to save money, you may have to put in some extra effort in research, take the time to get organized, drive to more than one store, and forgo a few items to stay within a budget. It will be worth the cost savings in the long run, especially for families shopping for multiple children.
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The cost of individually wrapped snacks and premade “lunchables” can really add up. Here are some ideas to save money when you are packing school lunches this fall.
• Buy items like crackers, cookies, and canned fruit in bulk and pack into individual size containers yourself. Doing this ahead of titime can give you the convenience of the prepackaged items with big cost savings.
• Replace disposable bags and containers with reusable items to pack sandwiches and sides.
• Use leftftovers. Make a littttle extra food for dinner and send healthy, homemade items to school for lunch.
• Make your own “uncrustables” and “lunchables” rather than buying the premade version.

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