Back to School on a Budget

Back to School

From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center via Divinely Organized

Back to School on a Budget

It’s that time again. It’s almost time for school to start. With that in mind, I have pulled together some tips to help you get prepared in an organized fashion to send your little ones back to school in style on a budget. A couple of weeks ago we prepared college students for dorm life. We cleaned, organized and decorated for the upcoming school year in their new dorm room or college apartment. Now that our young adults are all settled in comfy and cozy away from home in the dorm, it’s time to get our school age children ready for their upcoming school year as well. So, this article will get your kids Back to School on a Budget.

This article contains affiliate links for Dollar Tree and Amazon which means that if you visit Dollar Tree or Amazon through the links on in this article and purchase a product, I’ll get a commission. Don’t worry–the price is still the same for you!”  You can view my entire disclosure policy here.

Below you will find a list that I hope will make your shopping and transition from relaxed summer days back to the more structured school year an easy one.

First Things First: 

  • Most schools provide a list of school supplies that your child/ren require and the complexity of that list is usually determined by grade level.
  • With a required supply list in your hot little hands, it is time to pull or download your coupons for all things school related. You are in luck because, during the back to school shopping season, all stores offer coupons and or discounts. Just be careful because many of the stores elevate prices to make you believe you are receiving a bargain when you actually are not. Be assured, retailers never risk the profit margin.
  • You have your school supply list…check, You have gathered your coupons…check. It’s time to go through the sale papers with an eagle eye.

We Know What We Need…Next:

I suggest getting the basics out of the way first. Shopping for the basics can be easily accomplished (we will deal with scientific calculators, and technology later).

  • If your child/ren is/are elementary school age, you can probably find ALL of the basics at your local Dollar Tree. Actually, you may be surprised to find that many teachers frequent the Dollar Tree for their classroom supplies as well. What does that tell you? We all know teachers know how to work a school budget better than anyone because they are forced to be frugal. 🙂
  • Currently, Dollar Trees everywhere are stocked to the rafters with basic school supplies and you can fill your cart and never spend more than $1.00 per item. You can also shop the Dollar Tree online. How convenient!
Back to School
  • Pencils, pens, markers, glue, binders, crayons, weekly and monthly organizers, storage options, composition notebooks, paper, labels, etc., are all in stock at your local dollar tree or online where you can order and pick up in the store at your convenience.
  • If you are that parent who also supports the PTA/teachers with classroom supplies, you can pick up those donations at the Dollar Tree as well. Such things as the all- important Clorox disinfecting wipes, classroom storage bins, hand sanitizer, etc., can be purchased at the Dollar Tree.


Back to School
Back to School
Back to School








  • We’ve gotten the basics out of the way and now it’s time to get down to the serious business of technology and the more unique and expensive required items.
  • Next suggestion, gather coupons and begin to research and shop online.
  • Make sure free shipping is an option.
  • I like to shop Amazon for technological items and necessary and unique clothing items.
  • You can visit the link above to search and most importantly, find all the necessary items without leaving your home.
Back to School
Back to School







Backpack 3
  • Here is where we need to delve into the individuality of our children.
  • The organizer in me suggests that you have a family planning session prior to your online shopping day to determine what each child has decided they cannot live without for the new school year.
  • Of course, you will make final decisions, depending on the age of the child, but knowing what they like and want in advance is a definite plus.
  • You can also have the child/ren do all of the research for you. Just ask them to create an Amazon wish list and provide you access. Viola…you have a list of all of the important stuff. Well, at least all of the stuff they feel is important but you get the last word when you combine their lists and place the order.
  • There will be last minute items, but for the most part, you have conquered the monster of back-to-school shopping while saving money and the most important commodity…precious time.
Back to School
Back to School
Back to School







  • Did I mention that you can also do your clothes shopping online as well? Amazon has a full range of name brand and not so name brand clothing with all of the latest styles. They also have the best variety of athletic shoes.
  • The convenience is having all of the styles and brands at your fingertips without having to travel from store to store.


  • I saved the best for last. Did you know the Dollar Tree has lots of snacks and some even have a refrigerated and frozen food department?
  • I am going to appeal to your practical side so ask yourself the following questions.
    • Why pay almost $4.00 for a snack at one store when you can purchase the same item at another retailer for $1.00?
    • Why purchase milk from your supermarket when you can purchase the same milk for a lot less at a different retailer?
    • Why travel to several stores when you can shop at one store to get most of what you need to get this school year off to a fantastic start?
Back to School







  • Why spend more when you don’t have to? And that’s the bottom line. Save money and time by organizing and using shopping lists,shopping early, using coupons and shopping at the most economical retailers. Have an awesome school year!

If you enjoyed this article, you will also enjoy this one.

There could be affiliate links within this post. However, all opinions and ideas are my own. Clicking on and using the links to purchase products does not increase your cost at all. I appreciate your support.

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27 thoughts on “Back to School on a Budget

  1. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Suzanne. Mine too. Well, I help my daughter out. She’s a school teacher with 2 children of her own and yet, she buys extra supplies for the children in her class that may not have any so I buy some here and there and donate to her classroom. And they are always in need of the hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes. It’s just a great place that allows one to help without spending a fortune. Thank you for reading along and for commenting. Please stop by again soon. 🙂

  2. Clearissa Coward says:

    B2S tax free weekend is great! We no longer have it in our area. So we have to save when we can. I hope you found some really good bargains. Thanks for stopping by and please come back again soon.

  3. Molly Stevens says:

    I don’t like to shop, and I never think to go to the Dollar Store for supplies. I don’t buy school supplies, but I do like to stock craft items at home for my grandsons, especially the older one, who loves to do crafts. I need to take a trip in to see what they have particularly since it is that time to get ready for back to school! My grandson is starting kindergarten and I can hardly believe it. #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty

  4. Carol ("Mimi") says:

    These are some great tips for going back to school without breaking the bank. Thank you for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

  5. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Molly, my grandson is starting kindergarten too. I am so excited for him but sad too. I miss the baby in him. They grow up so fast. I am way beyond buying school supplies too but my daughter is a single parent now and so I try to help her out with the two kids. Also, she is a teacher and her classroom is always in need of something so I help her with that as well. And as you say, this is a perfect time to stock up on those crafting items as well. Give it a try and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  6. Lori Hill-Smith says:

    Clearissa, these are great tips for getting good deals on all the things you need for back to school! I have many fond memories of back to school shopping with my mom and big sisters.

  7. Christie Hawkes says:

    I can’t believe we’re talking about back-to-school already! Why does summer fly by, but winter seems to creep along? I do love the fall though. Thanks for cohosting #BloggingGrandmothersLInkParty.

  8. Teresa says:

    Thanks Clearissa for the great money saving ideas. My grandchildren happen to love Dollar Tree so shopping there for supplies would be a real treat for them! Thank you for hosting and sharing with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty!

  9. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Christie. Surprisingly & perhaps sadly, some of the stores already have hints of Christmas decor and lots of fall and Halloween stuff out already as well. We are all so rushed. 🙂 I love fall as well.

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