The Cost of Back-To-School

22 August 2008
Some Parents Struggling With Back-To-School Buys

I just read this article on FOX News and found it very interesting. I know I have gotten very creative this year as far as school clothes are concerned. I've only picked up a few supplies thus far, we will be finishing this shopping in the next few days. While my kids will not go to school unprepared, it will put a pinch on our budget. This time of year is always a little tight, but this year especially so.

Gas prices alone have caused a lot of the problem. And I know that we are not alone. It is obviously a nation wide problem. Locally, I learned last night that 67% of the students at the elementary school are considered low income. I was honestly quite surprised! That's a lot of kids! And with the current state of the economy, it's likely to just get worse.

One thing that caught my attention in the Fox piece was the part about fewer donations to places like Goodwill as people are instead selling via consignment stores. The local children's consignment shop down the street from me is no longer taking things because they are so well stocked. I personally have been selling outgrown clothing on Ebay to help buy clothes and supplies for this year. These things would normally had ended up at Goodwill, but I had to find a way to earn money to help with the back to school expense. Seems to be a common thing.

So, what are us parents to do? I wish i had all the answers. Here, I bought a lot of clothes at a "dollar day" sale at the local charity thrift store. I found a lot of great stuff and was thrilled. It was such a blessing! I have picked up a few supplies while they were on sale for mere pennies. I have cranked up the couponing again in an effort to save money on our grocery budget. I've been exploring healthy, yet affordable options for packing lunches so we don't have to pay for the school lunches. In short, I do all I can think of to stretch every cent as far as possible.

What about you? Is back-to-school shopping hurting this year? Are you going about things differently than in the past? I'd love to hear how other people are handling this time of year?


Anonymous said...

I am loving your blog!! Two keys for our family: uniforms and sewing. Our school (private, where my husband teaches) requires uniforms, and we have a "closet" where people bring their kids' outgrown clothes. I literally get my kids' school clothes for free! Second, I really like to sew, and can whip up a simple dress pretty quickly and very cheaply. You can teach yourself to sew using library books and maybe a friendly neighbor. (Personally, my determination is much greater than my skill!) As you wisely mentioned, thrift stores are wonderful, as are garage sales and other resale options. And of course, let people at church know you are looking for certain sizes (or school supplies), and you will likely be surprised by the response!

Becky said...

We like the children's resale shop here! It help alot. And, shopping good sales. Also, I'm blessed with two grandmothers that like to buy clothes for my kids. My husband's mom sends money for the school supplies every year. Would be really hard if she didn't!! If it weren't for the gas prices, we'd be sittin' pretty good!!