Frugal Village Forums banner
1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
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.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,018 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,016 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,846 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,296 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,747 Posts
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).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,605 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,605 Posts
Sorry it double posted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
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;)
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
19,119 Posts
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!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,972 Posts
I had my first time of spending for both kids this past fall. DS5 was starting Kindergarten and DS10 was going into 5th grade. Since DS10 is in a special needs class, fashion really wasn't everything for him. He's actually pretty easy to buy for: long pants that are small in the waist, large shirts, etc. He's more of a skater punk type of dresser.

DS5 is more like his daddy: dress for ease and comfort. We had to teach him all sorts of new skills this past fall. Things like how to buckle his belt, how to snap his pants, how to zip them, how to put his coat on by himself, etc.

My advice?

Clearance sales.

I bought about 85% of the kids' clothes on clearance. When your kids are young, really nice clothing is more prone to becoming playclothes than anything else. We reused older backpacks for DS5 this year and did the same for DS10. I figure as long as there are no visible holes in the bags and they're in good shape, they can be reused. I'd start them out with at least three outfits. If they need more later on, then you can get them one or two more at the holidays.

I spend about $75 per kid on everything except coats and boots plus shoes. My kids need one pair of inside shoes and one pair of outdoor shoes, plus a pair of snowboots. We got smart with DS10 and got him an oversized dual purpose coat. It has a heavy inside liner that zips into the outside lighter liner, plus the outside liner has a hood on it in case it gets misty and rains. We also get the kids two pairs of gloves and two hats a piece at Christmas time.

My advice is simply to get the kids stuff that's a size bigger than they are now while it's on clearance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,147 Posts
My Dd is 16 now... so her school supplies cost a packet, the latest TI pre-calculus calculator, graph paper, flash drives, you name it..

And this year she has a bunch of college classes ( AP stuff) and the books alone are $400 bucks.. groan. At least the high school pays the tuition, but school lunch just got a lot more expensive since she'll be eating at the college campus.

When she was little we really tried to stick to basics, which tend to stay the same from year to year fashion-wise. Bright colored hooded sweatshirts, jeans, T-shirts, tennis shoes (always with the non-mark sole so they double for PE), soft solid color sweaters, new underwear, and we'd let her just go nuts with the socks.

The good news is that all those basics can always be found on sale or clearance or at yard sales and thrift stores.

Then at school shopping time we'd take about $100 and let her "customize" her wardrobe with whatever trendy things she wanted for that particular year whether it was puffy purple boots, or a down filled vest, or whatever.

I'd love to claim that I put the foot down and I was firm and everything, but I think she was born a fashionista and I was born a softy where she's concerned. For kindergarten she picked out hot pink suede mary janes... shudder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,079 Posts
my son just finished his first year of school and needed uniform tops. we bought most used through the PVO and he needed khaki bottoms which i buy year round;whenver i see a khaki bottom in any size bigger than his current at the thrift or consignment i buy them our goodwill sells kids clothes for about $1.75 and then they have half price day so i really score then.
he doesnt need school supplies or a backpack

so our budget works something like this
75 uniforms (& reg clothes for friday)
10 lunch box (he destroyed his last year)
30 teacher gifts (optional the PVO collects it for mid year and end of year)
30 MISC (field day shirts and fairs and stuff)
20 Pot luck food (there were about 4 parents supply the food events)

this year we would have had excess and i give that to the school fundraising efforts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,583 Posts
Watch for the sales at places like Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Target and Walmart. They start about 6-8 weeks before school starts. I've had really good luck with Staples and Walmart for school supplies that are very inexpensive. But you have to watch for the good sales. If you don't get the newspaper on Sunday, at that time make sure you do and you can peruse the sales ads for the best deals. I tend to go each week and pick up whatever items are on the really good sales for that week. Like for instance Walmart had notebooks for 5 cents, and Staples had bottles of glue for like 10 cents. That is the time to stockpile! I have a school supplies box and just replenish it with those rock bottom prices each year. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
I agree...check those ads~the school supplies were the easiest. The hardest for me were the clothes.

Kids in our school have to dress a certain way or they don't fit in. Neither of my boys were skater-dudes...nor druggies....nor prep's. These are their words. My oldest was the hardest because he always wanted name brand everything....so I watched sales. I also garage-saled...and could find name-brand stuff still with tags on them (in the right neighborhoods). I would give them a limit I would spend for shoes....and if they wanted the $120 ones, they had to come up with the difference.

Also....I spaced out my purchases every two weeks (when I got paid). I found they didn't need everything all right at the start of school., and I couldn't buy too early or they grew out of it. One summer....my oldest went from a size 7 shoe into a 9 1/2.~! When I hit garage sales...in the summer..it was a hit or miss. That year...the size 8 shoes I bought that I was SURE would fit....were resold at another garage sale.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top