Back to School & the Budget (oh and maybe the mention of some Visa Gift Cards you may be eligible to win)

It is back to school season in Ohio.  All the ads in Sunday's paper were about the latest and greatest sales. All my emails from stores like Old Navy, Target, etc etc remind me how we /need/ new shoes, clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes. If you don't start the new school year off with everything brand new ... well you of course are destined to make social outcasts of your children.  Of course?! We are money conscious in this Army Household though and I try my hardest not to buy into the hype.

It isn't all bad though.  It can be a great time of year to stock up!  Some stores sell boxes of crayons for a penny right now, just as an example.  They want to grab your attention, pull you in.  "Buy the Crayons and everything else on your list at our store".  We do buy a few more boxes of crayons then we need according to our list but then we move onto the next store for their five-cent filler paper or 25-cent folders... and then after about a week of slow and steady shopping I get to restock our supply closet at home.

I love our supply closet.  We have boxes of pencils, notebook paper, folders, even water-color paint.  All items that were on sale.  Bought.  Ready for our use whenever we need them.  When the boys need new pencils mid-school year (because inevitably I get a note home ... "Please send in new pencils/ dry erase markers/ paper ... for your son") I can send my son upstairs to get what he needs at 'Back to School' prices. 

But backpacks? Lunchboxes?  Trapper keepers?  It seems to me these things are a little on the high-end right now.  But watch for me at the beginning of September, a couple weeks after school has started.  I usually grab a couple of backpacks 50% to 75% off, or maybe a lunchbox, also discounted. (Although, lunch-boxes can last a couple of years for us).  So my boys don't have brand new back packs the first day of school.  Quite honestly, they could care less!  It seems in the past they start to need a new one mid-year so what I find I put in the closet until their current backpack starts to get holes from being kicked, dragged, tossed, thrown, wrestled and whatever else boys do to their backpacks.  You won't find them 50% off in February though!

How do you save for Back to School?  It can be an expensive time of year if you aren't a little thrifty.  I will tell you one great way to 'save': Enter our Giveaway ExtravaganzaIt ends soon, Thursday, August 11th, 8pm EST.  We have

Five $20 Visa Gift Cards from Sitter City
One $50 Visa Gift Card from Prudential Network Realty
One $100 Visa Gift Card from Homes for Heroes
One $100 Gift Card from Sears
Two $250 Visa Gift Cards from USAA

I'm thinking winning any one of those would be a great way to take some of the stress off of the Back to School budget!

Looking forward to hearing some your Back to School tips.

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com


  1. I'm with you -- stock up while the iron is hot, so to speak! It is also beneficial, I've found, to watch for coupons during back to school time and it is even better if you can use them at a store that doubles them.

    If you start a BTS jar at the beginning of the school year and just put your change in there or a few dollars a week then by the time you need to go shopping the next year -- it will help out a lot! You won't usually miss a dollar here and there as much as a bunch of dollars all at once.

  2. BTW, I'm already signed up for the contest and did as many things to get my name in as there were. I had found your site while googling Navy things, waiting on hubby's CPO Selectee status. ... He has been selected! Busy, busy .. but so proud!


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