1. Reuse old school bags. I don't have to buy new school bags if their old ones are still usable. I'm glad that the bags our 2 boys used last year are still good to go. I just have to wash or clean them so they can use them again this year.
2. Hand-me downs. Are you accepting charities? Well, my kids usually receive old stuff from our friends who already have bigger kids. Would you believe that the first owner of the water bottle and lunch bag that my Janel use is already 13 years old?
One thing that I like about having kids that have 2-3 year gaps is that the younger can use the older's stuff like clothes, shoes, etc. Good thing that my kids aren't that picky, so we're saving money in using those school uniforms, socks and shoes (unless of course they're too worn out, in that case, we buy).
3. Buy from second hand stores. Well, items from second hand stores are cheaper. Just look at these Hannah Montanna and Lulu Caty bags I bought. They still look and actually smell pretty new when I got them. They just cost me about Php120 each. That gave me about Php500 savings compared to buying brand new ones.
You can also buy text books or reference books from second hand stores. Though now, most of the books of my children need to be new because they write on their school books. Unlike long ago, our books have separate text book and work book. Now, publishers have combined both to make worktext book.
There are also second hand stores that buy used books. So, if you have some old books that you want to sell, you can make some money out of them.
4. Reuse old notebooks. My sons' old note books still have a lot of blank pages. What I did was to collate all the blank pages, staple them all together, put a new plastic covering and ... presto... I've saved on about half a dozen notebooks. I remember when I was still studying, I used the spring bound notebooks. When classes are over, I remove the spring, collate all the blank pages, and sew them all together with a yarn. See, even while young I've been frugal... good huh?
5. Bring packed snack and lunch to school. Not only do I know if my young kids are eating at school, I also find this less expensive compared to buying their food from the school canteen. If I buy their snack in bulk from the supermarket, and cook their lunch myself, I save on food expenses.
6. Give allowances in buying uniforms. When we buy or custom-made uniforms for them, we give size allowances so that they can use the uniforms for the whole year. Kids really grow fast, and I don't mind saving some cash by not having to buy another set of school uniforms in the middle of the school year.
7. Lastly, we have to teach our kids to take care of their things. We have to teach them to fix their things like pencils, erasers, crayons, etc and make sure that they have it in their bags before going home. Having to buy extra little things like these can add up.
Well, that's all for this post of mommy savers tips. Feel free to add more ideas to the comments section.