How to Go Back to School on a Budget

Published Aug 29, 2016 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

Every year do you dread looking at your MasterCard bill after you take the kids school supply shopping? If so, ChatterBlock is here to help! We’ve complied a handful of tips & tricks that will help you stay on budget and still get all the sweet supplies that your kids need for the school year.

Parents have a love-hate relationship with back-to-school season.

Some love the fact that their crazy kiddos are returning to a routine, while others miss the constant interaction and face time.

However, one thing that parents universally dislike is the MasterCard bill that follows back-to-school shopping.

So, we are here to help!

ChatterBlock has put together a quick list of tips and tricks to help all parents keep their back-to-school bill as small as possible.

Stick to the List

Our top suggestion for saving money is to stick to the list. It sounds simple, but we know lots of parents who get overwhelmed when the hit the mall and cave to their kids requests for unnecessary supplies.

Although extra supplies may seem cute, at the end of the day they will just end up unused and cluttering up your kid’s desk. Sticking to the list will save you time and money. Guaranteed!

Raid your Cabinets and get Crafty

Your kids may not be hoarding an extra binder, but we would bet money that you are! So, this back-to-school season, we suggest clearing out your cabinets. Every extra binder, notebook, and supply case that you find will save you cold hard cash.

There is no denying that some of these supplies may need a little TLC. However, there is nothing a little glitter glue, a few cute stickers, and a picture or two can’t fix. Besides, kids always have a blast making crafts, so why not have fun and save money!?

Buy Bright

This may not come as a surprise, but kids lose a lot of stuff. It doesn’t matter if you bought your child a ring or hula-hoop; chances are they are going to lose it.

One way of preventing this is to buy bright. If your kid owns something neon, or with an eye catching pattern, they will be less likely to forget it somewhere and force you to buy a replacement.

Luckily, with the 80’s revival in full force there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to find a neon pink duotang or scribbler.


Last but not least, it is important to remember to recycle. Although your kids will want a backpack full of brand new supplies it is better for all parties involved (including the environment) if they are able to recycle some supplies from last year.

Obviously, half eaten pencils, unrecognizable erasers, and empty bottles of glue will need to be repurchased. However, more expensive items like lunch boxes, pencil cases, and calculators have a much longer lifetime.

Therefore, we suggest taking the time, either at the end of the school year or right before school supply shopping, to sort through your child’s supplies to see what can be salvaged.

With all of that being said, school supply shopping can still be a fun experience. The ChatterBlock crew has nothing but fond memories of back-to-school shopping and we know that you are your kids will too. Just remember the 4 simple steps listed above to guarantee you stay within your budget. 

Happy shopping everyone!

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