Summer is coming to an end. Sad but true. It’s time for most parents to start thinking about how they’re going to do back to school for less.

Here in the state of Georgia, we have one of the earliest back to school seasons in the country: August 1st. Our 13 y/o doesn’t mind, though, because she gets out earlier than most and also has more breaks throughout the year.

If your kidlets are going back to school shortly as well, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. RELATED: 6 Ways To Redefine Your Parenting As Your Kid Enters Middle School

You might be wondering if you can do your kiddos back to school for less money, less frustration.

It’s ok, I’ve been there. Making a few tweaks will help you to feel more prepared and save you some cash.

Here’s how we do back to school for less:

1. Inventory Every Single Piece of Clothing

Go through every piece of clothing that she owns and have her try on all of it. Double check each item fits on her properly.

We ended up with a HUGE pile of things that she’s grown out of just since the beginning of summer. Somehow she’s ended up with 13 dresses in her closet also, so, no more dresses for quite some time!

2. Make a List & Stick to It

Have a specific list of clothing to buy for school. While we were doing the try-on, I made a list on my phone of exactly what we needed:

  • 3 jeans
  • 2 leggings
  • 2 shirts
  • 2pks undies

instead of just: “school clothing!”

My goal was to make sure she could go at least 10 days without doing laundry or wearing a dress every day.

Umm… this exercise easily saved us hundreds of dollars because I stuck to the list when we were shopping. Yes, stick to it when shopping.

You get whining because you’re sticking to the list? Go home and do the rest of the school shopping without the kid(s). Yup. Super mean, I know. RELATED: Why Trying to Build Your Kid’s Self-Esteem is a Waste of Time

I told kiddo before we left the house that if she did any whining what-so-ever for something not on the list that I would be doing the school shopping without her. Guess who didn’t whine or pester one bit.

Whining makes me crazy… and not in a fun way.

3. Stock up!

If you see lunchbox snacks or baggies on sale, grab ’em and stash those suckers away. I have the whole top shelf of the pantry stocked and strictly off-limits under penalty of death.

It’s great that kiddo wants to pack her lunch every day for the last three years and the foreseeable future, but it gets expensive. Save a couple $$ here and there when you can.

You CAN do back to school for less in just a few simple steps. How about less money, less stress & less frustration? Yes, please!

4. Water is Just Fine

Speaking of lunches, instead of juice boxes or something like that which is single use and probably filled with sugar, invest in a great water bottle that your kiddo loves and will keep their water cold all day.

Do you hear whining about not wanting water every day? Fill 1/4 of the way with 100% juice and the rest with water.

If your kid is used to super sweet juice all the time, you can do it gradually to re-train their taste buds.

5. New Doesn’t Always Equal Superior

Just like the school clothing situation, inventory every school supply in the house before you go shopping for them! We did this thoroughly this year and only had to get two binders and some pencil lead so far. We had everything else on her grade’s supply list already.

We had a bin of colored pencils, a bin of pens, a bin of markers, and a bin of regular pencils… why would I buy new ones? Just because they’re not as sparkly & shiny as when they were brand new? I think not. Kids just lose their pencils anyway.

Same with the Expo markers that all the schools are requesting the kids have. I took a look at the school drawer in the kitchen and managed to find a ton of dry-erase markers that worked just fine in pretty much every color of the rainbow.

Plus, she doesn’t need a new lunchbox again this year, she’s got three floating around the kitchen that she can use.

Plan it, baby!

If there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s these two things:

1. planning ahead just a little bit and 2. showing my kiddo that not everything has to be shiny & new saves me a ton of cash, huge frustrations, and makes the BTS time period a lot more pleasant for everyone.

How do you do Back to School for Less? Let me know below!