School supplies
The key to shopping for schooll supplies is to buy what your student needs. (Green Shoot Media photo)

Back-to-school can be overwhelming for parents and children. Buying school supplies can drain the bank, especially, if you have multiple children in multiple grades to buy supplies for. Knowing what to get and what you lack is the key to budgeting.

School Supply Essentials

Knowing what you have can save you from spending on items you don’t necessarily need to buy more of. There are items that you can usually count on buying year in and year out. If you have multiple children, it would be a good idea to buy these items in bulk.

Here is a list of supplies that you can expect to buy: notebooks, folders, binders, pencils, pens, colored pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, and glue or glue sticks. These supplies can vary by school, class, and grade. Check the specific lists for your children’s school and grade.

Shop Ahead of Time

Being prepared and shopping over the span of a few weeks can help save you money. Buying items at the last minute can mean being forced to spend on the more expensive school supplies. Start buying items immediately when stores start to put them out. Make sure you pick up the items you know that your children will need.

Do not try to buy every single item at once. Spreading out your purchases can help you save money as you continue to look for items. Picking up a few items each time you shop will allow you to give yourself time to investigate and find out what your students will actually need.

Remember, the key is to buy what they need. Don’t spend on items that you are not sure they will use.

Comparing Prices

Many stores start putting out back-to-school items in July. Spreading out purchases will allow you to give yourself time to compare prices of items sold at different stores. Comparing prices is the best way to save on back-to-school deals and save time by not having to visit multiple stores.

There are various apps that are made to help you save money during the back-to-school rush. Search your device’s app store.

Buying Clothing

The back-to-school rush can be very overwhelming if your student’s school does not have a uniform dress code. Clothes shopping can be the most expensive part of your back-to-school preparation.

If you have multiple children to shop for, try to save by giving younger children the clothes the older siblings grew out of. Hand-me-down clothing can save you from spending on every single child. Make sure that the clothes are in good condition with no holes or tears in them.

Here is a list of essential clothing items your child could need for school:

» Two to three pairs of jeans

» Three to five long sleeve-sleeved shirts

» Three to five short-sleeved shirts

» Two to three hoodies

» Two to three sweaters

» Two to three pants and/or skirts

» Seven pairs of socks and underwear

The number of shoes your child will need varies on the activities, dress code and how active your child is. Making sure your child has two good pairs of shoes, including one pair of sneakers, is a safe number.