Back to school shopping? Average amounts?
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    Registered User Mamaof2rugrats's Avatar
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    Default Back to school shopping? Average amounts?

    I am the one in charge of our finances as the SO is absolutely terrible with money and budgeting. This is the first time I will be doing all the back to school shopping for the 3 in school and also my daughter who does PreK with me at home. The SO has a real issue with overcompensating his children because of their mother's absolute lack of interest and involvement. It ain't financially feasible for us to continue spending the 1,000 at the beginning of the school year for clothing for 2 kids in school and one that was in daycare that will be in K this year, not to mention all the back to school supplies they supposedly need. What do yall spend on back to school items. Any advice on how to do it frugally? Thanks yall.

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    Registered User lovestoread's Avatar
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    First of all, I understand from your signature that your little boy has passed away? If I am wrong, I am so so sorry....If I am right , again please accept my condolences....I have wondered for a while about you....

    Can't really help you on the school clothes thing, my daughters are almost 20 and almost 18, although I would only buy things they really needed and they had to take care of the wants (they both have worked since they were about 15) On shoes I would only spend around 50dollars and if they wanted more expensive, again, they had to pay the difference... I allowed about 200 dollars each, but then again, that was at the teen stage...new undergarments, etc.....

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    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    Well, I don't do the 'school clothes' thing. When they start it's still warm so they just wear the summer clothes they've been wearing. They're going to get it stained or filthy at school anyway. I usually spend about $100 by the time I get folders/paper/crayons/calculators/gym clothes etc. That's for the six in school.

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    Registered User rsbs's Avatar
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    Honestly, I buy year-round for "back to school." Typically, I do a year ahead (at the end of the season) for anything that is timeless (like jeans, coats, bathing suits) & keep an eye out for really good sales in between. DD10 currently has 2 pair of jeans & all the shirts she needs in her closet, with tags still on them - waiting for back to school. I let her pick out some of the shirts with me, but they must be on sale. Right now, I'm pretty lucky though, I can still accurately guess at what she will like!
    My one exception - shoes. I let her pick out what she wants & I guide her to the sale area...
    As far as the actual school supplies - get a list from the school. Most have them on their websites - & stick to the list.
    Reuse backpacks/bags. DD rotates, so she doesn't carry the same bag every year. She has three - again, that I bought on sale!

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    Registered User Nana2two's Avatar
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    My girls wear there shorts and capris till the end of Sept.I buy alot of fall and winter stuff like NEW condition at garage sales and thrift shops..The brand i buy at sales are HOLLISTER, ABERCROMBIE,OLD NAVY, CHILDRENS PLACE. ECT.They only get new socks, underwear and bras and sneakers.So i spend around $ 75.00 each. School supplies. They take a pen and paper the first day. Even they give you a list when you register them. Its always more when they start. plus the year before i would stock up on supples on clearence. Like note books 10/$1.00 i bought 100 of them and they have plenty this year.

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    Registered User dean's Avatar
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    When my children were school age, and we had to do back to school shopping. We started with 1 new pair of jeans each. (three were going at the same time) Then we bought several summer clearance shirts, summery dresses, etc. Beginning of school is always pretty warm. Clearance sneakers and the usual underclothes. When Christmas rolled around we got another pair of jeans and some hoodies and sweaters. I tried to do back to school for $100-$150 per child. I was fortunate that my MIL took each child and bought 1 outfit each for back to school. I always made a list of who needed to replace what, before we went shopping.
    School supplies and backpack were around $25-$30 per child.
    School clothes were always well kept. Taken off and replaced with play clothes after school. Of course birthdays always brought more clothes. I couldn't see going into debt to get an education.

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    Registered User justpeachy92's Avatar
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    I have 3 school age kids. Untill last year when my oldest needed the graphing calculator for Algebra, we have averaged $100 to get the needed supplies off of the list supplied by the school. As for clothes we buy things on an as needed basis. School shopping consists of getting new sneakers because they are always worn out by the end of summer and one new outfit to wear on the first day of school.

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    My kids go to a private school (sacrifice) where they wear uniforms. Through the network of parents we trade to each other. But I do buy socks, underwear, shoes, and the supplies. I do not spend alot on the shoes other stuff comes from outlets. Since they can only wear certain styles, they are trashed by the middle of the year.
    For uniform items that I can't get on trade, I search the web at JcPenny, Sears, Old Navy after school has started. They are put on clearance then. Luckily every birthday, Christmas they each get a pack or two of underwear from Grandpa.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    Back to school can be hard on the budget, but it can be done frugally. First off if you SO has budget issues I would not bring him with me on the back to school shopping trip. Staples has a supply list broken down by grade, get the list from them or the school and then shop the sales. WalMart and Staples has crazy sales on school supplies, I've bought 19 cent crayons, 10 cent glue, 10 for a dollar folders and notebooks, ect. Supplies should not break the bank, that is until they get in upper grades and need a crazy calculator!

    Backpacks, lunchboxes, Fall and Winter jackets, and clothing are a steal at yard sales, or thrift stores. If you have your heart set on only new items I'd stick with Walmart, target and/or Kmart and shop their sales. Remember that you don't have to brave Walmart for those crazy back to school clothing prices. They have a .com where you shop and then pick up at the store-no shipping charge. someone I know did that for their Christmas sales and got everything on their list ($8 Winter coats, ect.)and didn't have to brave black friday morning rushes. Their sales run on the web site at the same time as the stores. I like Kohls, Marshals for Summer clearance clothing.

    Shoes well, I really can't help you on shoes. I swear by buying really good supportive shoes from the very first pair they put on their feet. I do look for sales though and Kohls and sometimes Marshals has really good shoe sales.

    My oldest attended a charter school that required uniforms. I bought all his pants at goodwill WELL BEFORE the start of school, making sure they were a bit loose so they'd fit all year. I found polo shirts and sweatshirts at Walmart and a local store waiting for that crazy back to school prices of $5 each and then searched out a business that would sew on his schools name for $2 a shirt. Sure beat the $20-$30 a shirt that the uniform store wanted. Of course like I said I only buy good shoes, and when my son was past his power rangers or whatever phase and was in high school,I purchased a quality backpack that he carried for 5 years until the zipper broke (his fault).

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Hmmm I'm not sure how much we spend. I think I'll keep track this year and see how much.

    This will be the first year my son will need gym shorts for Physical Education. A veteran middle school mom told me to buy these early like now. So I bought him a pair for $5. I might by some extra and in the next size up I think shorts will be hard to find in January if he hits a growth spurt.

    I tend to buy clothing when it is needed. So shoes when you outgrow them. Jeans when needed but I do buy a pair or two when they come out in the store. Son's favorites tend to disappear fast around here. (my mom also buy the children two back to school outfits)

    Basic supplies don't cost to much glue, paper, spirals, folders,pencils as I buy them when they are on sale Staples penny sale is awesome.

    I buy each child a good backpack that they reuse every year until they have to many books to carry then a bigger one for them normally around 6th grade. Same with lunch boxes. So these bigger expenses are spread out not both kids at once.

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Sorry it double posted
    Last edited by imagine; 06-04-2009 at 05:19 PM. Reason: double post

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    That was one of the hardest things for me to keep a lid on.
    Picture packet-$35.00 for minimum from school
    activities fee-$50.00 to join clubs at high school
    Yearbook-$30. when in Elem. but $100. in high school
    Middle school-instrument rental-$75. deposit about $30. per month
    6th grade class trip-$100.-$150.
    Boy scouts/Girl scouts
    Join PTA-$5.00 per parent
    Every year it was some surprise-baby wipes and sanitizer,kleenex,hot lunch prepay,teacher appreciation week,teacher gifts,snack and milk tuition in kindergarten,field trip fees.

    We figure $500. start-up for each child plus clothes. We collect supplies and clothes all summer long from garage sales then fill in w/ staples and Walmart or k-mart incentive buys but everyone else covered that kin of thoroughly. I fiqure about another $100. per child for the first few months too. We live in a rich area and it all cost a litttle more because of it.

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    Registered User MRAHoffman's Avatar
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    Smile I lucked out last year...

    I happened to stop in the local thrift store on a Saturday and found some navy uniform shorts/pants (Izod, in BEAUTIFUL condition) for my son who goes to a Catholic school...9 pair, when I got to the cashier I asked if I could pay w/ check as I used my last $ and she said yes, then she gave me my total...$4.16...apparently Sat. is everything you can fit in a bag for $4.00. I was SO excited, I bought him 2 pair of school shoes ($60.00 total). I loved it Take care and good luck, you can do it

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. My DD is in grad school now, but reading this thread brought back many memories.

    Agree with - few new clothes needed for the beginning of school when the weather is still warm.

    Definitely shop the sales anywhere and everywhere. When DD ws in intermediate school, they wore uniforms!! Yeah!! I bought 5 sets - tshirts and shorts - then in 7th grade, a friend of hers left for private school, so we inherited 6 more sets of uniforms. When DD left for highschool, we gave all over her uniforms - still in great shape to a friend who has three boys. Got a lot of mileage out of little money.

    Because of the financial challenges, at our school, we decided to take money for student school supplies off the top of our budget. Parents, who normally paid $100 for school supplies for each of their children, now only need to provide 2 black + white notebooks and 24 pencils. Think it's a great idea.

    Good luck in your shopping and let us know how you do!!

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    Our 5 year old son starts Kindergarten this year and I'm wondering about the costs of supplies too. I'm not that worried about clothes, he only needs a few things and I usually score some great clearance deals at The Childrens Place. Its all the other stuff. It shouldn't be much in the way of paper, pens, etc since its kindergarten but I know the schools around here are in a budget crisis. Just to ride the school bus, they charge over 400 dollars a year.

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