Preparing for Back to School on a Tight Budget

Preparing for Back to School on a Tight Budget

Who doesn’t have a tight budget when getting ready for school? The schools expect you to whip out supplies, clothes and shoes are needed, and it all seems to add up very quickly. It is possible to prepare for school on a tight budget and here’s how you do it.

Shop Second Hand

When it comes to getting clothing for school supplies, you need to shop second hand. Two of my favorite places to shop for gently used clothing online are and You can buy second hand clothes at amazing prices and most of the time get free shipping or a discounted rate on shipping. It is amazing what you can get from there, really.

Shop the Dollar Tree

Just because everyone else spends hundreds of dollars on back to school supplies, it doesn’t mean you need to. Think about shopping at the Dollar Tree for any school supplies that you may need. They have everything from crayons to tissues for the classroom. I like to take the classroom supply list into the Dollar Tree to see what they have available. I grab what I can from there and then look for school supplies elsewhere.

Start Shopping Now

Once everyone has swiped the shelves for back to school supplies, it can be hard to find what you need. I don’t delay in finding what I need for back to school shopping. Grab the list of what you need and go from there. I scour the Internet and the stores for what I need, but I do it now.

Reuse What You Have

I’m not sure when the habit to buy new backpacks and lunchboxes become a reality for families every year. One way to prepare for school on a tight budget is to reuse what you already have. Spending a little time cleaning up what is already in your possession is a great way to save some money.

Exchange With Friends and Family

I can imagine how many of my friends have stuff sitting around they don’t need. However, I may have stuff they need. Why not exchange with friends and family? I get that it can be a little awkward to ask, but at the end of the day, totally worth it. You may save a ton of money this way.

Go to Free Events

Where I live, there are tons of free events for families going back to school. These events are for families who have tight budgets, but still need school supplies. If you notice, these events don’t disqualify you based on financial status.

Do you have any back to school savings tips to add?


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  1. I’ve been using the same system since my grandchildren started school (they’re now in 6th and 8th grades). FIRST YEAR – I went to Office Depot and other stores to get the 1 cent and 25 cent sales items. I bought what was needed for that first year AND had the school supply list for the NEXT year. When the next year came I already had everything the kids needed, so I’d watch every school supply sale through the month of July and beginning of August – and buy only the super sale items that would be needed the following year – the 1 cent and 25 cent sales (reams of paper for 1 cent, etc, packs of pencils for 25 cents and so on). By keeping my “school supply cabinet” stocked for future years, we never had to spend very much each year and the kids always had what they needed.

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