Back-to-school shopping season is around the corner. A survey in 2012 by Parenting.com and Women & Co. found that parents spent an average of $131 on clothing and $48 on school supplies per child.
Surveys by the National Retail Federation and American Express suggest that those numbers are low because they fail to account for technology purchases, such as laptops, tablets, and cell phones. Those surveys estimated total family spending at $688 to $800 on average.
You can lower these costs and still get your kids what they need. Use leftover supplies from last year. Reuse last year’s backpack. Resist the urge to upgrade working electronics. Shop for gently used clothes at garage sales or secondhand stores. And, remember, when you do need something new, look for recycled-content products, such as paper, notebooks, folders, and T-shirts.