8 Frugal Back-to-School Ideas
When school supply lists are endless, sometimes it pays to take a break and prepare some personalized touchs for your kids’ back-to-school arsenal.
1. Reusable Lunch Set – Amy from Progressive Pioneer shares a great way to pack your kids lunch by using reusable items. Instead of plastic bags why not create a fabric lunch sack and sandwich bag? Ann made hers out of an old pair of jeans to keep sewing minimal. See the tutorial here.
2. Covered Notebook – Three-ring binders are often free to close too it during the school supply sales. Create a pretty journal to keep homework in by using remnant fabric you may already have around the house. Here’s how.
3. Indoor S’mores – These tasty treats will make any student smile when he opens his lunch box. Include a note telling them how special they are to make their back-to-school separation as painless as possible.
4. Package Your Own Snacks – Skip the 100-calorie snacks and use this cheat sheet from Ladies Home Journal to create your own, like 15 mini carrots, 2 Twizzlers, 7/8 cup Cheerios or 2/3 cup mini marshmallows.
Back-to-school season is also a great time to get organized and set priorities for the year before the madness of the year goes into full swing. Here are some ways to get everything in order:
5. Host a Yard Sale – I know, I know … one last thing you need on your to-do list, but the back-to-school season is great for yard sales. The temperatures are falling for one, and you’re examining your kids’ closets and needing to buy new clothes, if yours grows as fast as mine does. Take the opportunity to reorganize, sell what you can, and use the money to stock up during sales coming up over Labor Day weekend.
6. One at a Time – When your kids go back to school, activities and opportunities will come right and left. Limit your child to one activity at a time, as fees and equipment costs add up fast.
7. Pass the Buck – Back-to-school is a great time to teach your kids a lesson about money management. Dave Ramsey teaches that kids should earn their money (through chores or somesuch) instead of being given allowances. However you choose to give your children money, help them develop a simple budget and learn from their money management decisions.
8. Restaurant Night – Make family time a priority when free time is no longer so free. Schedule a “restaurant night” each week when you prepare a favorite restaurant meal at home, whether it be homemade pizza or Chicken Parmesan. Bring the kids into the act, either by helping prepare the meal, setting up the table (restaurant style with table cloth, centerpiece, proper place setting, etc.) or cleaning up.
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