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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • The Frugal Family: Saving money throughout the school year

  • As children across the area head back to school, there are a few things you want to do to keep costs low throughout the school year.
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  • As children across the area head back to school, there are a few things you want to do to keep costs low throughout the school year.
    One of the most important things to remember is tips on packing lunches. I pack my children's lunch and snacks almost every single day throughout the year. However, to save on cost we do not use plastic bags to pack sandwiches and food items. Instead we put our sandwiches and snacks in plastic containers. This way we can bring the containers home and wash them instead of spending money on countless plastic bags. We also do not use plastic utensils. Instead we purchase cheap utensils. This also saves on cost and allows us to bring the utensils home and wash them so that they can be used over and over again.
    Another way you can save money is on school supplies. I know throughout the year, my children are always being offered countless pencils, crayons and pens at birthday parties, area restaurants and when we go to different businesses. For those who have not stocked up on school supplies like I recommended in a previous column, I would encourage you to keep pencils and other supplies your children gather throughout the year. I know that our family attended PAIR Day on Fort Leavenworth last weekend and received enough pencils, pens and crayons from area businesses to last us through the entire school year.
    Another way we saved money is on shoes. I have had great luck on shoes that styles were being discontinued. Last week I went to a discount shoe store in Leavenworth. I was looking for dress shoes for the winter for my son for church. I was able to find shoes that were being discontinued on sale for $5 and was also able to use a discount on my purchase. This is the second time I have found a great deal on shoes. My son's school shoes I also found at another shoe store in Kansas City. They were also being discontinued and I was able to purchase several pairs at several different sizes for under $10 a pair of shoes.
    Finally, one of the most important tips I can recommend to have a successful school year is to avoid going out to eat. I know that when kids get home from school, families find themselves busy with school work and after-school activities. Many parents find it easy to just stop at a fast food chain to grab dinner. Avoid this at all cost. Not only is this bad for your health, it is expensive on the budget. Throughout the school year do not forget to use your crock-pots. They are a great way to prepare a healthy meal and have it ready when things get crazy. If you are not a slow cooker fan, then I would encourage you to prepare meals ahead. I typically make a very basic dish and make meals from it throughout the week. There are also countless freezer meals. Remember the school year does not have to be expensive.

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