Your County Government Community
Kids & Families
Environment Public Safety Jobs

County News

Latest News
County Recognition
County Television Network
Board Of Supervisors Meeting Video
Public Information Officers
County Officials Contact List

Back to School Without Breaking the Bank

Printer Friendly
Font Size Extra Large Font Size Large Font Size Default
School savings graphic

August 4, 2009

You’ve got a long list of required supplies from the teacher, a tattered backpack that needs replacing and your child’s pleas for some new, fashionable clothes. But, like for many American families, times are tight.

So what do you do? There’s a lot of ways you can ease the burden – by smart shopping and spreading out your expenses, says Patti Wooten Swanson, a nutrition, family and consumer science advisor with the County’s Farm & Home Advisor Office.

“Let your kids know that this a different budget year and that spending will be a little more restrained,” Wooten Swanson says.  

“Make your kids part of the process; talk about wants vs. needs and what you’re going to buy for school,” Wooten Swanson says. According to the National Retail Federation, families will spend an average of $548 on back to school clothing, supplies and electronics this year.  But that doesn’t mean you have to.

Wooten Swanson says parents should consider these cost-saving strategies:

  • Decide in advance how much you want to spend, and stick to it!
  • Use cash, not a credit card, to pay for purchases. People spend more with credit cards, and end up paying more with interest.
  • Make a list and then prioritize. Can some items wait a month or two?
  • Comparison shop through ads or online before you go to the store.
  • Know the school’s dress code before you buy.

Email Updates  Get County news and information delivered to your inbox