Back To School on a Budget

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

Back To School on a Budget

Last week we organized and prepared for the upcoming school year for our college students. That post focused on tips for organizing and getting them settled into their new dorm room or college apartment.

Now that are young adults are all settled in comfy and cozy away from home, it’s time to get our school age children ready for their upcoming school year as well.

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 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. 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.

School Supplies Collage PM

  • Pencils, pens, markers, glue, binders, crayons, weekly and monthly organizers, storage options, composition notebooks, paper, labels, etc., can all be found 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 also 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.

Storage and Agendas PM


  • 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.
  • Just visit the link above to search and most importantly find all the necessary items without leaving your home.


  • 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 determined 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 and you get the last word.
  • 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.


  • I saved the best for last. Did yo know the Dollar Tree has lots of snacks and some even have a refrigerated and frozen food department? Well they have.
  • Here I am not going to make suggestions. Instead, 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?

Why spend more when you don’t have to? And that’s the bottom line. Save money and time by organizing your shopping list, shopping early, using lists, using coupons, and shopping at the most economical retailers.

Food 1 PM    Dollar Tree Pantry 1 PM


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Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to make a purchase. 








2 thoughts on “Back To School on a Budget

  1. Deshawn Keiner says:

    I totally agree on being organized and prepared.I purchased many of my kids school supplies from walmart. I didn’t pay much because I used an gift card that I earned through their rewards program. Your suggestions are very helpful and well mapped out. I enjoyed reading this and i look forward to reading more from you. Keep up the great work

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