First off-empty out your child's book bag and your search through your cabinets. I'm sure you'll be surprised to find notebooks with plenty of paper in them, and pens and pencils, among other things, that are already at the house. By taking note of what you already have-markers, colored pencils, white out, a spare composition notebook, you'll be happy to check those items off your list, and immediately reduce your spending by going into the store better prepared and with a shorter supply list.
Look for labels on products that show it is made with recycled materials. Lots of items from notebooks to markers may be made or contain recycled material. If a calculator is on your list-check out the solar powered ones to keep cost down on having to purchase batteries all year and it reduces battery waste from landfills.
When it comes to carrying all these supplies around-look for pencil boxes and book bags with eco friendly elements. Same goes for lunchboxes and lunch containers-eliminate plastic baggies each day and you'll save a small fortune over the years.
As for back to school clothes-this can get expensive. Try consignment stores or garage sales when you need to buy bigger sizes, or organize a clothing swap in your neighborhood for clothes in good condition. For items that still fit-jazz them up with new accessories that are trendy. Belts, pins, scarves, and jewelry are a great way to add flair to a girl's wardrobe.
If you feel like getting a little crafty-add rhinestones, ribbon, or even new buttons to your clothes. For the plain tee shirts or clothing with tiny stains-cover them up with paint! For bigger tears or holes-patch it up! Check out these cute ideas below!
These sports and super hero patches would look great on jeans, a tee, or even a jacket!
Or get creative and design your own-like this funny monster patch from Refashion Co-op. Check out their site for other cute "refashion-ing" tips.
Best wishes on a new, bright school year for you and your little ones!