Getting Ready for School (Yea!)

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With fall quickly approaching, many moms can become daunted by the idea of beginning the school year without enough supplies and clothing that will last for the next nine months. With enough preparation and budgeting, it can become easier to afford clothing and supplies for multiple children without having to cut corners.

Save Money on School Supplies

Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the long list of supplies requested by your kids' new teachers, plan ahead by clipping coupons and stocking up when deals are available during the summer and when the supplies are in low demand. Ditch the dollar store when looking for crayons and pencils for preschoolers, which are low-quality and will likely need to be replaced after just a few uses.

Companies like Wal-Mart and Best Buy also work to price match, making it easier to make larger purchases for teenagers, who may need more than the family computer. Simply bring in the ad from a competing store to obtain the same price by either of the retailers.

Prepare for the year by shopping with stores' discount programs, such as Cartwheel at Target, which can help rake in more savings. You can use any coupons and your Target Red card savings (5% off) in addition to the Cartwheel discounts. Target often has their own coupons online for products which are also on sale that week, so a little prep work can save money.

Buy Used Items

Purchasing used items at thrift stores, second-hand stores, or even yard sales can provide an effective way of getting enough clothing for the entire year. It will make it easier to stay current with the latest styles for teens without feeling bad about how many items are purchased.

Try to pass down clothing through siblings as much as possible, which will relieve extra pressure on the budget and make use of quality items.

Stock Up By Doubling Coupons

If you are lucky enough to have stores in your area that double coupons, take advantage! Several blogs and newsletters provide information on when specific stores have products that are selling at low prices by doubling coupons. Purchasing pencils, folders, and even uniforms for kids in grade school can cost less with both a store coupon and manufacturer coupon used, making it easy to stock up and never pay full price.

Exchange Uniforms

Uniforms can often be the most expensive purchase when it's time to prepare for the coming year, costing hundreds of dollars on pieces that can only be worn for several months to a year. Take advantage of uniform exchange programs, consulting with consignment stores or even looking online.


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