Sunday, July 22, 2018

It's Back to School Time Already!

I was at the store today and there were kids everywhere!  I asked one mom and she said that school here resumes August 13th which seems super early to me but we haven't had kids in school for ages so maybe that is the usual time for kids to go back to school now?  When I was in school we didn't start the school year until mid September!  Anyway, here are some money-saving tips for back to school:

  • Shop the sales.  Walmart and every office supply store in town currently has super cheap school supplies so now is a great time to stock up (buy enough for the whole school year then hold half back until after winter break when the kids will need/appreciate a bunch of new school supplies).
  • Check out your school district's website.  It has info on everything from registration to school supply lists to bus routes to program options, etc.
  • Shop for school clothes/shoes starting with the Goodwill then Ross/TJ Maxx/Walmart then hit the higher end mall stores.  Hopefully by the time you get to the expensive stores most of their needs will have been met at the cheaper stores!
  • Determine how you will do lunch.  If you qualify, you can sign your kids up for free/reduced lunches.  Packing lunch from home seems like a healthier but more expensive/more work option.
  • Determine how your kids will get to school.  I am mystified that many parents drive their kids to school these days.  When we were kids--even when our kids were kids--the options for getting to school were walk, ride a bike or ride the school bus--parent's simply did not drive their kids to school ever.  Maybe consider car pooling to save money if several kids in the neighborhood need to be driven to school?
  • Determine what you will do for before and after school care.  Our school district has a before and after school care program which seems like an interesting option (and possibly cheaper than daycare/babysitters).
  • For parents who need help, see if your school district has back to school fairs planned where they offer free school supplies, free immunizations, even free haircuts for the kids.


  1. It depends on where you live. Here, in the PNW, school starts in September, either just before, or just after Labor Day, based on when Labor Day falls. The teachers vote on the calendar. They try, at all costs, to avoid starting before Labor Day, and NEVER before September 1, as parents don't like it, and sometimes refuse to send their kids until September. But, when I lived in the southwest, schools started early to mid-August. Currently, I have a second home in Florida, and the schools start the second week of August. It's funny to see the school buses pass by as my kids and I are at the pool. I asked a neighbor why they started so early, and the REAL reason, (the one I believe to be true, as I got it from a teacher,) is because the standardized tests are given in April, so they want to get as much test prep in as possible. On the flip side, once the testing is complete, they feel there's not much left to do, so they let out earlier. (Hence, we don't live there fulltime) Although, with the earlier start, if the school operates on a quarter grading system, a benefit is that they are able to end the second quarter the day Christmas break begins. So their quarter breaks are a week in October, two weeks at Christmas, and another week in March. I still don't care for it, though!

    1. Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense I guess to take a lot of time to get ready for testing (at 50th in the nation our school district needs all the help it can get unfortunately!).