Tips to Avoid Overspending on Back to School – EP 66

It’s that time of year again! Dreaded for students, anticipated for parents; but something we can all rally behind is not wanting to overspend on back to school supplies! It seems the lists get longer and longer each year, so we’re talking about how we can send kids back to school prepared without breaking the bank. And to top it off we have Allison from Inspired Budget co-hosting the show and giving her expert knowledge as a personal finance writer AND a fellow teacher! Don’t miss it!


Rakuten (Ebates): We love and use Rakuten all the time so we wanted to give them a shout out. If you’ve never used it, Rackuten is a shopping portal where you can get cash-back on purchases from your favorite stores. We use it for Groupon, Amazon, Walmart, travel sites and more. And, if you haven’t tried Rackuten yet we’ve got a $10 welcome bonus for you on your first purchase of $25 or more when you sign up through

Buses: that’s right – this episode is brought to you by those big yellow beacons of hope and glory that whisk your precious treasures off to be educated while you wave goodbye from your bedroom window. Yellow buses – the national symbol of the end of summer entertainment responsibility, and allowing parents everywhere to remain in their pajamas until at least 8:30am.

Notable Notes:

What the Internet has to say:
This article from Money Crashers gives 16 tips on how to save on back to school supplies AND activities! Some great ideas to consider, and we cover our favorites.

What Allison + Jill have to say:

  • Do a supply sweep through your own home and gather school supplies AND clothing to take inventory and know what you actually need to buy
  • Check garage sales and thrift stores for calculators, paper, folders, binders, backpacks, etc.
  • Take advantage of sales tax holidays!
  • Hold off on new clothing – despite the ‘sales’ consumer reports recommends buying in September. Consider purchasing 1 new outfit and the rest in the fall
  • College text books: try these websites; chegg, Abe Books, Amazon (rentals!), email professor

More from the Internet:

This article from Miss Millennia Magazine gives more insight on how to avoid overspending on back to school costs by providing 3 tips and areas to pay attention to when spending!

More from Allison + Jill:

  1. Enlist your phone for help by looking up coupons or deals for the stores at which you’re shopping before taking your supplies to the register
    *Pro-Tip: turn off your location at target! They will not show you the best deals if they know you are inside their store!
  2. Utilize the student ID – these could cover public transportation, provide discounts at stores/restaurants, even free access to prime for 6-months through Amazon Student Prime
  3. Know your backup plan – know how you will pay for unforeseen expenses! We recommend NOT taking a loan out for these things, but instead having an emergency fund and planning for the unplanned!

BILL OF THE WEEK – We’re so thrilled to have heard from Jen while on maternity leave – thanks for sharing your bill Jen 🙂

Lightning Round

What You DON’T need to send kids back to school:

  • Flip-flops. They break and then you have to bring up a new pair of shoes!
  • Every cute idea you saw on pinterest! You’re kids will survive even if their sandwich doesn’t look like a lady bug
  • Fancy pens and pencils
  • Smelly markers – they’re too tempting to eat!

Frugal Friends Book Club:

It’s July and we’re reading Mom and Dad we Need to Talk by Cameron Huddleston for book club!

  • If you want a free copy, leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, screenshot the review and send it to
  • We’ll select the winners at the end of the month.

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