How to go back to school on a budget

Children may be excited to go back to school and see their friends again, but the back-to-school shopping needed for each child to have a successful year at school often leaves parents feeling overwhelemed and stressed.

Here are four tips from Shawna Roy, director of the Buckner Family Hope Center of Houston at Reed Road, for how to go back to school without breaking the bank. 

  • If you are a family that is struggling financially, don’t be ashamed to look to your community for help. There are a lot of nonprofits across the country that hold back-to-school drives to support local children and families in need. Buckner holds annual back-to-school drives through its Family Hope Centers across the state.
  • Look through your own home and take inventory. Children are notorious for squirrelling items away, so do some searching in their rooms and in their backpacks for school items you bought the year before that they never used.
  • There is often a school uniform swap day. If your child is required to wear a uniform to school, find out if your school district or local organizations and churches are holding a swap. You can provide your uniforms that are only slightly worn and too small to another family and in turn receive uniforms that fit your kids now.
  • Weather the storm, if you can. If you are able to, only buy your kids the bare essentials right before school starts and wait a few weeks to purchase the rest when the prices drop – it’s kind of like buying wrapping paper the week after Christmas. If fact, try spreading out your back-to-school needs throughout the year, so you aren’t buying entirely at one time when prices might be at their highest. Instead, be on the hunt for a good deal at all times and stockpile supplies.

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