When back to school season rolls around, bills can pile up. From new clothes, to notebooks, backpacks, pens, pencils and miscellaneous school supplies, back to school shopping can be expensive. If you’re shopping for more than one child, it can be a bit overwhelming to make sure you get everything on the required supplies list, as well as anything else you may need. Go into this school season fearless! We’re guiding you through back to school shopping with these DIY tricks and money saving tips.

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Lunchtime Hacks

Packing lunches and buying school lunches can get expensive. When you’re unprepared, you end up going to the store and end up getting expensive items like pre-packed lunches. There are plenty of ways to get back to school savings on your lunches.

1. Pre-plan lunches each week

A lot of us already plan our dinners, so why not take the extra time to plan your school lunches too? You can find ways to use your dinner leftovers and put them into your kiddos lunch boxes. This saves time and money. A few of our favorite kid friendly meals that transition great for lunch:

2. Pack Lunches Ahead of Time

To avoid chaos in the morning, prep your lunches the night before. When you’re cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, do your lunch prep and you’ll save time in the morning. You can also do a large round of meal prep; make a week’s work of sandwiches and put them in the freezer. You can put them frozen each day in the lunch box, and by lunch it will be thawed and ready for eating!

3. Shop Weekly Food Ads

You probably already do this for dinners, but keep this in mind for lunches too. Buy what is on sale to save some money.

4. Double Duty: Use A Drink as an Ice Pack

This trick is a space saver as well as just all around clever. Freeze a water bottle or juice box and put it in their lunch box. It will keep their food cold until lunch and will keep them hydrated. You can take your frozen drinks to the next level with frozen fruits.

Money Saving Tricks and DIY Projects

1. Update an old lunchbox

Each year, companies crank out new products with the latest trends, characters and pop culture icons. Kids often want the newest items instead of buying a new lunchbox, you can easily update the one you already have! Here are a few ideas:

2. Customize Boring School Basics

Always buy what is on-sale. Yes, the shiny, decorated notebooks and binders are fun, but they are pricey. You can easily upgrade your basic items into something more colorful and fun. Plus, doing some DIY is an opportunity for fun and activities with the kids. A few of our favorites:

3. Go Consignment Shopping

Before you question used clothing, give it a try. Most consignment shops and used clothing stores have standards for wear and tear, so you’re not going to find a bunch of stained, badly worn clothing on the racks. You would be surprised by the quality of clothing that people give away. Plus, most shops allow you to bring in your own used clothing for a credit.

4. Reinvent Clothes You Already Have

Most people have a pretty tight rotation of the clothes they have in their closet. Everyone has their favorite items they like to wear and re-wear. But what about the clothes at the back of the closet? Spruce them up with new accessories, try layering with different options or try your hand at sewing. Plus, if you’re like us, you never go through your closet, so who knows what you may find. Going through your closet, finding clothes to donate, keep, and update is a great way to start a new school year.

There you have it, these are some of our favorite DIY tricks and money saving tips for back to school shopping. Getting your kids back-to-school doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. With some extra planning, and a do-it-yourself attitude, you can breeze into the school year while saving money.

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