Back To School On A Budget

Aloha! It's that time of year again. The Back To School shopping frenzy! Sales along with social media can fuel us into a buying craze.

Are you like me buying ALL the things that could be useful for your classroom?  Sometimes I feel like I just buy because I may need it someday or it's really cute.  I need to wear blinders when I walk into Target!!
Bird box dollar spot blindfolded save money

However if you are like me, then you need to be on a Budget. I have my own kids that I have to buy for and their supplies, on top of mine, add up quickly!

Here are a few quick tips to help get you organized so that you are only purchasing what you need for your classroom and yourself.

Quick Tips To Save Money Back To School Shopping School Supplies
Set Your Budget

I think this is the most important thing you can do to keep on track when your shopping begins. Know exactly how much you can spend. If you do this then you won't suddenly be scrambling and wonder where all your money went.
List items needed for Back To School Use Cash

It's an even better idea to have your budget in cash. When the cash is gone, then you are done shopping!

Make A List

This is a simple one. Just make a list of what you absolutely need for your classroom this year. Is it folders for writing, glue sticks or composition books?  How many do you need just for this year?

Classroom supplies list

Take your list with you and stick to it!!  I know it's hard and can be tempting to throw more in your cart, but if you stick to your budget then you might not have sticker shock later. If you find that you need more of an item you can always go back or ask for a donation later.

It can be hard though when you find bargains and can't decide if you need it or not.  I had a tough time at Walmart the other day when I saw these!!

Walmart Bargains Back To School Book Bins

Such a great price, but I wanted 5 sets for my classroom library.   Do I really need new bins? My old bins aren't as colorful and these would brighten up my room! In the end I decided that I would pursue other avenues to see if I could get the funding through my school or a grant. That saved me $50 of my own money that I could put towards my own kiddos.

Shop Online

I love going into the stores to pick out certain items, but if you can find a deal online grab it!
There are tons of bargains out there if you know where to look.  Amazon, Walmart, Target and even Dollar Tree have great bargains online and will even price match!  You can even order online and pick it up for free at the store.

I found this online deal on Glue Sticks and did buy them! They came to about $0.30 a stick.

Glue Sticks Bargains Amazon Best Price
Write A Grant

This one takes some time, but it is a great way to get classroom supplies without you spending all of your own money.  

Grant Writing Fund Projects

Donor's Choose has funded many grants for my classroom from headphones, iPads, books and even art supplies.  I also found that many of my grants were funded quickly when they were for items under $100.  

Write Down Your Purchases

Here is what I do to really keep me in check.  I save my receipts and then write down everything I bought and add it up.

List Budget for purchases to save money

This really puts your spending into perspective! Plus when I save my receipts, it helps to return items I decided I didn't need.  I created the Supply List and Budget Tracker and they have been great to keep me accountable.  You can download them for free in my TpT Shop.

Teachers have the biggest hearts, but one of the smallest paychecks!  I know you want to make that classroom gorgeous and buy ALL THE THINGS, but you still have to take care of your own expenses without going into debt.  

Hopefully following a few of these tips will help you have a more budget friendly Back To School. How do you stick to your Budget? 
I'd love to hear your thoughts with a comment below.


  1. Thanks for this! It is WAY too easy to spend a ridiculous amount of money on classroom supplies. I've used the "budget with cash" approach. It works so well! Have a great school year!
    Laughter and Consistency

    1. You are so welcome! I know we all spend way to much and just being aware of what we are spending can really help. I hope you have a great year as well!

  2. It is August and that means back to school season is upon us once again.


Mahalo Nui Loa For Commenting!!

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