School is a few days away, and if you’re like me, you still have school supply lists pinned to the refrigerator. Now that it’s crunch time, here’s a list of seven tips compiled from the ever-informative internet to help ease the stress on your brain and strain on your wallet. 

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  1. Prioritize your lists. Not everything has to be purchased right now, budget guru Dave Ramsey’s website Ramsey Solutions states. There might be four boxes of snacks on the list, new shoes, a backpack, and 27 boxes of tissues. If the backpack can survive a few weeks, purchase the shoes first. You can purchase one box of snacks, and one box of tissues to start, and get the rest as you can.

  2. Separate wants from needs. “Everybody is getting one” is not a priority, reminds us. And the simpler the supplies, the better for overall class productivity, the site adds. Sometimes the fun new gadgets create the biggest distractions.

  3. Buy used or generic. Backpacks, supplies, clothes, and shoes can be purchased gently used or sometimes brand-new at thrift stores. Laramie has the Goodwill, Nu2u, The Clothing Cottage, and the Foster Closet as options to save a few to a lot of dollars. You don’t need name-brand everything, either.

  4. Strategize: Find coupons from supply manufacturers online (BIC, Post-It, Staples, and Target to name a few). Price compare different stores and online retailers. Buy in bulk if it makes sense (like tissues or disinfecting wipes). Purchase online if it’s more cost-effective.

  5. Taking kids along vs. going kid-free: if you’re bringing kids, make a list, and a budget. It will teach them to prioritize and manage money. If you go kid-free, you’ll probably end up buying less, and generic branded items.

  6. Shop strategically and often. Sales happen regularly (typically Sundays and Mondays, says Krazy Coupon Lady). As Ramsey Solutions says, you don’t have to buy it all at once. It can be well worth the wait to space purchases out. Check back with stores to see when the next sales are.

  7. Start earlier next year! Sometimes I’m great at this. I have a box in a closet of bulk- or late-sale-bought items that I rummage through before making lists. Sometimes I forget the box exists and think I have to buy it all in a panic all at once. Reminder: Don't do that. 

Old School Starter Pack

A trip down memory lane...all the must-haves and must-dos of school in the "back in my day" days.

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