Back to school shopping tips

A recent story on ABC news indicated that the average family is expected to spend up to $600 this year on back-to-school supplies and clothes. The report offers some ways to save a little money. Some of those suggestions include:

• Leave the kids at home while you shop

•Buy in bulk with other families

•Shop online for used books

•Get hand- me-downs, swap gently-used clothing or check out second-hand stores for clothing.

A Web site called “Counting the Cost,” which focuses on “creative frugality,” also has some ideas on how to save for back-to-school shopping.

As far as school supplies are concerned, Spokane Public Schools and other districts provide a list of what students need throughout the year. First-graders in Spokane need washable markers, scissors, glue, No. 2 pencils, crayons, glue, a box of tissue and a pair of tennis shoes for Fitness and Health. As they get older, the list grows and includes notebook paper, binders, rulers, calculators and a padlock for the school locker.

Many families often can’t afford the basics, so several organizations in the area sponsor back-to-school drives. Sarah Bain, a frequent contributor to the Parents Council blog, also is making an effort to help these families. For more information, please check out “Backpacks for Grace” on her blog.

What’s back-to-school shopping like for your family? What are some of the items on your shopping list? Any money/time- saving tips?

- Virginia DeLeon

Share your thoughts and find a link to Bain’s blog at s-r.com/ blogs/parents.

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