It’s back-to-school time, and parents know all too well what that means. New clothes, shoes, supplies, lunches, and so much more. Try these ways to cut down on waste and wasted money:
1. Take stock of what you have: Rigid notebooks and binders usually last longer than one school year. If your kids have notebooks or compositions books with only a few pages used, remove those pages. And spend a little time looking for items that may be misplaced during the summer such as rulers, scissors and protractors – no need to buy new.
2. Pack waste-free lunches: Ditch single-use lunch bags and opt for a reusable lunch box. Pack reusable containers to hold your child’s lunch items. Make it easy on yourself and buy products in containers that can be reused, such as yogurt cups or lunch meat containers. If juice boxes are your weakness, there are now reusable containers in the same shape and size.
3. Buy designer duds on a dime: Consignment shops offer incredible deals on high-quality clothing, shoes and accessories. I recently found a pair of $200 jeans for $50. Resale shops are also good places to sell your high-quality clothing and earn cash or store credit.
4. Track down electronics for less: If shopping for computers, try a Goodwill Computer Works retail store. That’s where the organization sells refurbished computer equipment (everything from hard drives to mice to power cords) for a fraction of retail.
5. Consider carpooling: Carpooling is any easy way to save money, gas, and time. There are many online sites and phone apps that make it easy to set up carpool plans with other parents or colleagues. Most also have Facebook pages. Check out DoYourPart.com/Columns for resources.