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Four Tips to Shop for Back-to-School Supplies on a Budget

When the back-to-school season approaches every year, I have to make room in my budget for school supplies. It is not always easy because it means the budget has to be reduced in other areas.

However, there are ways to reduce spending and prevent back-to-school supply shopping from taking up more than it should within your budget. I will give you four tips that have helped me in the past:

Look for supplies at home first

Before going back-to-school shopping, look inside last year’s backpacks and in closets and drawers for any supplies, new and used (but still in great shape), that you can check off the list. Do the same with clothing or uniforms and donate anything that doesn’t fit anymore. This will give you a better idea of what you need to buy and help prevent overspending.


I usually find glue, scissors, pencil pouches, binders and even new packs of pens to check off my list!

Plan your shopping trip according to sales

Many stores have special prices for back-to-school season. But make sure you plan on stopping by Family Dollar. Every week you can find something on your list on sale in their weekly ads. They have everything you need – uniforms and shoes, the coolest backpacks for $10, lunchboxes with kids’ favorite characters at $5, and most of the items you’ll see on school supply lists for everyday low prices.


For example, right now at Family Dollar you can find great deals on:
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Crayola crayons
  • Filler paper
  • Yellow wood pencils


  • Other items on my school supply list that I buy at Family Dollar include facial tissue, antibacterial gel, and wipes. I definitely head over there when I am getting ready for a new school year and save a lot of money on basics.

    Set a budget

    Set a budget according to what you need and what you are able to spend. With some of the items you already have checked off the list and shopping the season’s sales, your back-to-school shopping becomes manageable and affordable. . And don’t worry if you are not able to immediately get everything on the list, some of the class items can wait a few days.


    Get your kids involved
    To help my kids get excited for the new school year I usually let them pick their main binder, and some notebooks in their favorite colors or composition books with designs. We found a lot of cute and affordable options at Family Dollar, so they were able to pick more things than we usually allow with the same budget!


    Don’t let the frenzy of back to school shopping stress you out. Have a plan, let your kids know about it, and let them help with the shopping process. The experience will teach them about planning purchases, adding up items, and sticking to a budget. And relax, it can be done on a budget!

    By Denisse Icaza

    TWITTER: @AhorrosparaMama

    FACEBOOK: AhorrosparaMama

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