NOW CLOSED: Nestlé Back to School Basics $500 Giveaway

back to schoolSummer is almost over for many of us and school has started or will be starting shortly. For my family, school starts this week and we are always looking for ways to save money and time during this hectic period. I’m happy to announce in partnership with Nestlé, I’m bringing you some money saving and time saving tips using some of my favorite Nestlé products.

Let’s start with lunch.

As the price for school lunches increase each year, you can save money by packing a your child’s lunch a couple of days of the week. Skip the prepackaged lunches and create your own healthy alternative. has many fun lunch ideas such as Sports Time Lunch Fun to get your creative juices going.

We don’t pack a lunch everyday but we try to do it 1-2 times a week during the school year. During the summer is actually when we make lunches for day camp on a daily basis. To save time, I like to buy a combination of prepackaged items for convenience as well as buy in bulk and make my own smaller packages.

For example, I will buy $0.50 off ONE Pampers Wipes 60 ct. or larger in individual packages for those quick mornings when we are scrambling to pack a quick lunch – which is most mornings. For those days when I have actually planned their lunch, I will pack their juice in a sports bottle to save money as it is less expensive to buy Juice in a larger package than the convenient individual size juices.

Lunch for Two

Lunch for Two - PB&J, Cut Strawberries, Cheese (2% Milk), and Juicy Juice

To the right is a typical lunch, which feeds both of my school aged children. This particular meal was packed during Summer Day Camp so for convenience I packed some of their items together for them to share. The big bottle of Juicy Juice was not packed but shown as an example for what is in the sports bottle.

  • Get the best deal on lunch box items by combining sales and coupons. Stock up when they are at their lowest price. Stack with Mail in Rebates and other store loyalty programs.
  • Skip prepackaged chips, cookies, and other snacks unless convenience dictates otherwise. Buy larger packages and use snack size containers or bags to make your own small portions.
  • Use reusable containers and utensils for lunch storage whenever possible.
  • Freeze your child’s beverage to act as a freezer pack to save space in the lunchbox.
  • Sneak a fun treat like $0.50 off ONE Pampers Wipes 60 ct. or larger in your child’s lunch for a fun surprise!

My absolute best investment for lunch making, was the Cut n Seal from Pampered Chef. This allows me to make our own crust free sandwiches. The kid’s favorite is peanut butter with jelly but you can use this tool to make any type of sandwich. It makes it a little more fun for the little ones and you can freeze these and use as needed! Stock up on bread when at a low price and make a batch of these to save time and money.


To save time, I like to go ahead and make up enough sandwiches and “sides” for the week. Then the kids can pick and choose which items they want for the day, which allows them a little control over their lunches. Items not needing refrigerated such as crackers, chips, snack cookies can be pre-bagged by you for your own convenience.

So in addition to these money/time saving tips, Nestlé is offering a $500 Walmart Gift Card to (1) lucky Bargain Briana reader to help with your Back to School Expenses. Plus, stay tuned for more Back to School money saving/time saving tips!

How to Win?

Easy Entry: Share your favorite Back to School Money Saving Tip by leaving it on this post as a comment.

Bonus entries (Up to 4 additional entries):

  • Blog about this giveaway.
  • Tweet: BTS Money/Time Saving Tips from @bargainbriana + Enter to Win $500 Walmart Giftcard: #nestleBTS
  • Grab my button. (It is on my sidebar)
  • Subscribe to my free newsletter via email or RSS. (You don’t want to miss out on any deals/giveaways!!!)
  • Use my “Tell a Friend” Widget to share with a friend via email, Stumble, Digg, etc.

Leave a separate comment for each extra entry. It is very important that you leave a separate comment for each additional extra entry.

Ends around 8/28 at 11:59 EST. (As long as you can still comment you can enter!) Winner, chosen by, will be announced on the Giveaway Winners Page by 08/29/09 and I will contact you shortly. (If winner doesn’t respond to my email within 48 hours, I will pick another winner.)

Want to win more? Enter to win the rest of my current giveaways!

Bargain Briana Giveaway Disclosure: This is a sponsored giveaway by Nestle.  All reviews/recommendations are based on my own honest opinion and experiences and not edited or written by the sponsor.


  1. 722


    My favorite back to school money saving tip – Shop at thrift stores for back to school clothes! Especially shop at them when they have their half off sales! You will save a TON of money on clothes, will be able to purchase more and will find amazing quality, one of a kind items! :)

  2. 728

    Lindz says

    My tip for saving money going back to school is to buy snacks for school at Sam’s Club. You can get tons of stuff there in bulk and they have great prices. Also, instead of paying for the individually packaged snacks which are a lot more expensive so I buy the family size bags and put them into reusable snack bags. The reusable snack bags save money and they are more eco friendly.

  3. 733

    Jan says

    My money saving idea is to walk the kids to the bus stop rather than driving. It gets a little bit of morning exercise and it saves on gas money and wear and tear on the car. Even if the kids want to complain, I just explain to them that this is better for our bodies and better for the environment!

  4. 738

    Danny says

    We buy a lot of the stuff at thrift stores and garage sales. We hit the garage sales in the really affluent part of town. They have amazing stuff that a lot of times still have tags on and have never been worn.

  5. 743

    Greg says

    I buy back to school supplies at Costco and split it with my friend. You can get great stuff in bulk and since we don’t need all of that stuff we split the cost and it makes for a great money saving option.

  6. 747

    Dillon says

    My money saver tip is to pack lunches. So much is spent eating in the cafeteria. So we brown bag our lunches to save money.

  7. 752

    Lindsay says

    My best back to school money saving tip is to buy clothes in the off season. If you’re buying Fall clothes right now they’re ridiculously expensive, but I buy them in Spring and keep the tags in case they don’t fit.

  8. 756

    Nancye Davis says

    The best Back to School tip is to watch the sale ads and to shop at places like Wal-Mart or Target and you can get items like spiral notebooks for 5 cents. Can’t be beat!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  9. 757

    Summer says

    To save money on school items I always pick up things for next year after the rush is over and they are on sale this year.

  10. 758


    My best tip for lunches – my son is addicted to the plain roast beef sandwiches from Arby’s. I get the 5 for $5 deal, chop them in half, and freeze them. He only eats 1/2 a sandwich – so that’s 50 cents for the main part of the meal. Add milk in a thermos, crackers bought in bulk and bagged in a Ziploc, and a piece of fruit.

  11. 763


    My best money saving tip is to buy from thrift stores, I get most of my back to school cloths from thrift stores or shop the clearance racks at wal-mart, gordmans, old navy, and target.

  12. 770

    Carolyn Barnett says

    After school is out,I start looking for online clearances(Kmart,Walmart)
    for clothes and shoes that are on clearance.I got my daughter name brand t shirts for $2 each,Name brand shoes for under $10.She went back to school dressed in the best.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. 773

    Alisha says

    My favorite back to school savings secret is, to buy all year round! Good sale on crayons? Notebooks? Ziplock bags? I stock up! Those things never go “bad”!

    (also I added a link in the website part to my twitter page! for the tweet!)

  14. 778


    We do most of our clothes shopping after classes have started because a lot of stores have crazy sales a few weeks after school starts. Additionally we buy extra of the school supplies at Walmart because they are such great prices, and the kids always run out part way through the school year.

  15. 782

    Karen says

    my tip is to have the child help go shopping to pick out what they want in their lunch that week, sandwich, snacks, drink etc. therefore no having them trade or not eat what you pack. and use thermos’ so as to not have to buy individual drink boxes or pouches. if you do use pouches. freeze them the night before using them as ice packs. or freeze yogurt cups.

  16. 785

    Michelle says

    Yes, saving money on back to school or lunch shopping is all about freezing stuff. We shop at Costco because let’s face it– we might as well buy huge because we are going to keep buying the stuff! I save tons of money there. Thanks for the giveaway!! –Michelle, blogattoday[-at]gmaildotcom

  17. 791

    rebecca b. says

    My best money saving tip is to do it yourself and prep ahead of time. It’ll keep it healthy AND inexpensive!

  18. 794

    Crystal Allen says

    my money saving tip for back to school is to reuse what you can from last year. this year i was able to use my son’s back pack from last year and both my son’s and daughter’s lunch boxes from last year. this saved me over $20 alone. some years we are able to reuse a pencil box, pencil sharpener, ruler, or even clip board. this will cut down on the supplies that you have to buy and the savings really do add up.

  19. 802

    Janet Carpenter says

    My best money-saving tip is to shop at Walmart! Also to make a list and stick to the list. Avoid impulse buying as much as possible.

  20. 803

    Kimberly says

    My favorite money saving tip for lunches is to buy a few reusable sandwich sized gladware. I buy the off-brand at the dollar store and can usually get 2 for a $1. I buy enough for a few days worth of lunches and wash 1x during the week. It save money because we are not buying sandwich bags and tossing them. It also is better for our environment. We started doing this when my husband began bringing his lunch to work. He takes 2 sandwiches every day and we were going through the bags like they were water. So we saw the sandwich containers at the dollar store and decided to invest the couple dollars. We have been using them for over a year now and they hold up well in the dishwasher.

  21. 808


    My best back to school tip is to hit all of the sales when they begin a few weeks before school and stock up on all of the inexpensive notebooks, crayons, paper, etc. to have on hand throughout the year-knowing you paid pennies!!

    I love your pampered chef tool-SO much cheaper than buying those expensive pre-made frozen PBJ sandwiches lol

    You can also customize the fillings that way!

    thank you for the chance to win!!

  22. 810

    Lisa K. says

    I love stocking up on school supplies and clothes when they go on sale through out the year. I have boxes to store them until the “mom I need this … for class tomorrow” or “mom my clothes are too small” rings in my ears. Then off to the boxes for discounted items rather than pay full price for a last minute item.

  23. 822


    My favorite back to school tip is to buy plain Jane and jazz it up yourself! My son has fun using stickers, paint, etc. to decorate his own folders – we even stitch our own appliques on his backpack sometimes – it’s frugal and it’s a fun activity for family time together!

  24. 825


    Comparison shop. It may take extra time but is worth the effort.
    Not to mention coupons any store that has them sign up for them newsletters whatever it takes to get them. Combine the two and sales are ones friend.

  25. 829

    Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy says

    Well, this year CVS has made it very easy to spend less on school supplies. So, I guess my tip would be to shop around at stores that you wouldn’t normally thing would be cheaper.

    crystal_reagan at hotmail dot com

  26. 835

    Jamericanspice says

    It’s always best to shop deals. Like at the end of school season, but the stuff when it’s not in demand so then it will be cheaper. Also buy in bulk and you can divide up with a neighbor or friend.

    Another thing. Don’t be afraid to shop at Goodwill or second hand stores!

  27. 837

    Donna says

    My back to school money saving tip is to shop at Kohls, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Ross for all the great deals on basics so that I have more money for the more expensive, have to have items that the kids want! I also never leave home without coupons on hand! Thanks for this truly amazing giveaway!!!
    -Donna :-)

  28. 839

    Amy Brewer says

    My best tip (even though I don’t always do it) is to buy clearance on summer clothes for the next year in fall and buy clearance for the next winter when clothes and shoes go on sale after January..You can always guess your child may be a size larger and I have saved money that way before..

  29. 843

    CMC says

    My best money-saving tip: I hit up Kohl’s for new school clothes and shoes and sneaks, armed with my discount cards. This REALLY adds up when they have sales. (When Kohl’s says, “Sale,” it’s no joke!) You really get a lot of bang for your buck, and every penny counts these days.

  30. 846


    My favorite back to school money saving tip.. We do pack lunches and we do drink juicy juice because it is 100% juice! I like to freeze it because it keeps the rest of the lunch cold. I like to use a reusable lunch bag. buying bags and tossing them to ME is a waste of money.

    I like to pack stuff that they will eat.. if it gets tossed whats the point! Baby carrots and hummus, YUM, its healthy and delish, fresh fruit, and lots of fresh veggies! I do shop at the warehouses and buy in bulk! I LOVE to use the bags that keep veggies FRESH FOR a while.. they really work… that is a MONEY saving tip.. they are GREEN TYPE bags.. and wow you stop tossing produce away!

    Thanks for a GREAT Giveaway

  31. 848

    Emma says

    My tip is to always wait until the stuff you need to get is on sale before buying things; I love bargain hunting.

  32. 849

    Amanda Dean says

    A good way to save money for back to school is shopping the clearence racks! Also, walmart and target have tons of school supplies for super cheap. There’s always coupon cutting too!

  33. 863

    Amy L says

    I like to shop for back to school clothes at resale and consignment shops. The prices are great, and you can sell your gently used items back to them.

  34. 866

    Beth S says

    I would always shop the sales. Now that my kids are grown, I don’t have as much use for the school supplies section, but your blog and others are so helpful for finding good deals!!

  35. 867

    Julia F says

    My girls are too young for school now, so I don’t have tons of tips! My mom always used the dollar store & Dollar General. I’ve found their prices to be a good bit cheaper at times!

  36. 869

    caroline says

    When I find a deal on school supplies, I buy a year supply! I still have lined paper and pens from last school year that I spent pennies for.

  37. 870

    Elizabeth S says

    My favorite tip is…. to constantly check sites like BARGAIN BRIANA for ways to save!
    Y’all are so good and finding all these ways to save…I couldn’t possibly come up with this stuff!

  38. 871

    AmyG says

    My favorite money tip is buying in bulk & dividing everything up in equal porportion sizes. When it comes to supplies like paper, crayons, ect… I buy extras when they are on sale, to have on hand in the middle part of the year.

  39. 872

    Maria Carrion says

    Nestle has the best products for lunches, not only healthy and quality wise but tasty! My tip for saving money in lunches is to pack things that are nutritious and that will keep them full, like cheese slices, apple juice, whole grain carbohidrates and stay away from simple sugars.

  40. 875

    Melissa says

    We like to buy our favorite “snack” items in bulk when they go on sale so we always have them on hand. We also rotate our fruits seasonally so that we’re always eating what tastes best and costs least.

  41. 876

    Karen says

    In addition to trying to match up coupons with sales to maximize savings, I like buying what fruits and veggies are currently in-season (ideally at the farmer’s market), and taking a big block of time to peel/cut them all up at once. That way it’s easy to grab what’s needed for lunches, snacks, etc.

  42. 877


    I always buy items for school in the “off season” just like I do most other items, and I have found that waiting the last moment possible is usually the best time to find a deal… like halloween candy on the actual day! CVS has been great lately for finding a few school supplies though!

  43. 881

    Rebecca says

    I love to shop end of season clearance for the next year. I also utilize stores like CVS for back to school freebies!

  44. 887


    Pick up clothes in the spring that you think will fit in the fall when they are super clearanced out…then just look for really amazing sales in the fall to fill in what you don’t have!

  45. 888

    caetie says

    I always by clothes the year before, so I get them on clearance. That way I never have to buy back-to-school fall clothes–they are already stored away (and for like 70% cheaper!!!)

  46. 891

    Julie Cutshaw says

    My tip for back to school savings is start putting spare change now in a container for each child so that as the half yesr nears and the school request money for field trips, parents part of food for parties, year books etc you will not be so financailly pinched to find money you do not have to use. Change can really add up and give you extra needed money that you other wise would not of had.

  47. 892

    cm runstrom says

    My favorite money saving tip is making sure my son is in the last lunch period. They give away all the extra food then!


  48. 896

    Susan Taylor says

    Tip – Watch the ads for several months leading up to school starts as well as all year long. I have a large plastic container I keep things I find through out the year on a great deal (usually free or close to it)…I do find more in June and July but they do have good deals other times also. When it comes time for school to start I usually have most everything I need in my container.

  49. 898

    Linda Shifflett says

    I shop all summer trying to get school supplies and other items that will be needed for the school year while things are on sale. Pack lunch daily except when the school has pizza – that’s his favorite. Use tupperware to pack lunches so that we don’t waste by using ziploc bags.

  50. 905


    I try to save money by buying everything the kids need for back to school while its on sale. I buy extra crayons, notebooks, etc. & stock up-then 1/2 way through school when they need more I already have them and don’t pay higher prices. I also love tupperware sandwich keepers & snack containers-then I’m not spending money on baggies & saving the world all at once.

  51. 906

    Kristy says

    My best way to save money is to price compare and then find the best sale and pair it with a manufacturer’s coupon. Even better if you can also find and use a store coupon too.

  52. 913

    Stacey says

    We always clip plenty of coupons and scrounge out the best deals.
    If you shop at more than one store compare prices.

  53. 915

    Tara! says

    For back to school shopping I shop year round. I keep an eye on supplies throughout all the stores I frequent and stock up when they go on sale. The kids can either use them throughout the school year if new ones are needed, save them for the next year, or use them at home with our own craft projects. I love back to school shopping!

  54. 920

    Debbie P. says

    My back to school money saving tip is to use lots and lots of coupons to buy school supplies, and things needed for school lunches!

  55. 924

    Kelli says

    My tip is actually feasable because of wonderful sites like yours…by planning out my Sunday ads, I am able to get all of my shopping done for the week and save lots of $$$ :-) Thanks for all you do!!!

  56. 928

    Rachael says

    My favorite back to school money saving tip is bake my own cookies, bars, crackers, granola bars and bread and to package myself in little baggies.

  57. 929

    Deborah says

    We homeschool, so we don’t have to “pack” lunches, but with the pressure of being the “teacher” and keeping the house up as well as meals, it’s a tempation to grab whatever is easy, not necessarily what is healthy. I try to spend one afternoon a week baking some “healthy” cookies and snacks that my kids can just grab. They make a sandwich and add a piece of fruit and it’s back to the books.

  58. 933


    My best back to school tip is to start thinking at the last day of school. We have a special plastic drawer set at home that we put my son’s school supplies in. When he finishes the last day of school, we dump all the supplies that he has emptied out of his locker and into his backpack into the bottom drawer. When it is getting time for us to start our back -to-school shopping, we go through that drawer and see what we already have. This way when we shop, we have a great list. This year we only had to buy a back pack, a jumbo book cover, and a package of pencils. The nice thing is we can usually skate by without spending outrageous amounts and then we purchase when everything is drastically reduced. We end up with plenty of supplies to last the year and to donate to the food pantry in our town.

    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!


  59. 937

    Karen says

    I like to buy lots of crayons, glue sticks, etc. while they are dirt cheap and you can find them and then after Christmas when the teacher sends a letter saying your child needs this and that-you’ll have it at a fraction of the cost!!!

  60. 938

    Veronica says

    My biggest back to school saving tip would be to defnitely shop the bargain sales and look for store coupons. They really help take off the savings at the end. Thanks for a great giveaway :)

  61. 939

    Renee Keough says

    Setting up folders for each of my kids for their paperwork, homework, permission ships and keeping on kitchen counter

  62. 945

    Amanda says

    We save money but buying clothes in advance when on clearance–next summer’s shorts are filling the closet right now!

  63. 946

    Adina says

    My back to school tip- we lay out clothing the night before to save time in the morning. It’s a lifesaver!

  64. 948

    Amber says

    My favorite back to school money-saving tip is to NOT bring the kids along. You will end up spending 3 times as much as if you just take their school list and go shopping your self. This will also save you a lot of yelling and stress when the kids beg for everything.


  65. 950

    Rhonda says

    We home school year round so “back to school” doesn’t really happen. I remember my mom (years ago) waiting to buy our clothes after the initial return to school rush. She was able to get discounted merchandise that way.

    rgbarron0n at yahoo dot com

  66. 952

    Sarah says

    My tip is to shop the back to school sales. It’s what I did this year, and it was amazing to me how much I could get for free or almost free. Amazing!

  67. 955


    My tip is to use a thermos so that your children can take leftovers such as soup or pasta and still have it nice and warm by lunchtime.

  68. 956

    Cheryl says

    My tip is to make your own muffins and package each one in a baggy, instead of buying Little Debbie or another type of dessert snack. Saves money and no preservatives!

  69. 962


    My best school savings tip would be to shop Staples Mon-Wed because each week they have a penny sale. I hit the sale getting the maximum purchase every day Monday , Tuesday and Wednesday. This way I get enough for this year and maybe next year too. Like I said it’s a penny so well worth the stop. This year I picked up notebooks , 8pk pencils, Paper Filler for binders and more all for a penny. I also found a new site online that is called so if you want to save on sandwich bags and other household products this is an amazing site. First of all the products are cheaper to start with on most items and second if there is a coupon out there available she automatically deducts that too so no more clipping coupons. Third and best part is shipping is always FREE~!
    We are like the Brady bunch here with 6 kids between the two of us so I have to save on every way I can since I’m the only provider right now because he is laid off from the economy. Thanks for Sharing this AMAZING review and giveaway with your readers~!

  70. 963

    Kisha says

    I am saving money on back to school supplies by getting them free at the drugstores… and my kid won’t even start school for three more years. By the time she starts, she should have a good supply! :)

  71. 964

    Katie says

    I guess what I had hoped to be able to do is be able to go to Wal-Mart and do all my daughters school shopping there because it is the best place to save money. I guess you cant save money if you dont have any to spend. Well this year I am hoping that by some miracle I will be able to start a back to school tradition with my daughter.I know that growing up my sister and I would get so excited about going shopping for new clothes, a new backpack and all the supplies that were on our list. Mom would take us and one thing I always will remember is being able to buy new shoes and having to wait to wear them so they would remain brand new for the first day of school. Well I dont know if that will be a possibility this year for my own daughter. She is 5 and this year she will be starting Kindergarten. She is so excited and feels so big but it breaks my heart when she sees all of her friends getting new clothes, shoes , backpacks and supplies then she asks me when will I take her to go shopping so she can get her things as well. I just dont know how to tell my 5 year old daughter that this year , her first year of school that mommy and daddy dont have any money. How do you explain to a 5 year old that daddy got laid off and because of the economy daddy cant find a new job and has had to go back to school full time so that next year we can do all the things that are needed. We have tried to get supplies but I went to 2 different school supply giveaways. The first I waited 2 hours in the heat and when it was my turn I was told me they had run out. The second one I got up at 5:30 am last Saturday and waited in line till 8am and when I got to the tent they told me my daughter had to be present, even though I had her social security card and school list. Well that morning she wasnt feeling good so I decided to leave her home with my husband and not make her wait with me. I went home and picked her up and when I got back they had already given everything away. I have always pictured this first year to be a year for all of us to remember especially my daughter but I am afraid the memory will not be a good one.

  72. 965


    My best back-to-school money saving tip is to organize your shopping trips. Plan ahead and write everything down, that way you won’t have to backtrack because you forgot something. (Ugh, that is so annoying when that happens. I have since learned from my many mistakes!)

  73. 968

    MelodyJ says

    When you see what you want/need on sale buy more than one. That way you will have more when you need it.

  74. 969

    E Simpson says

    Time saving tip: If your child’s teacher is willing, get their cell number. If you forget to tell them some important piece of info about your child as you’re dropping off, just text it to them so he/she can read it when they have a moment.

  75. 991

    Aimee W. says

    My tip is quite simple and obvious — yet many people do not employ it. Go through your Sunday sales fliers and decide what you’d like to purchase from each store. The main idea that I cannot stress enough is to WRITE IT ALL DOWN! Make note of what you want to buy at each store, sale dates, store hours, what day you would like to visit each store, etc. It is all about planning! Thanks so much for the wonderful giveaway!

  76. 992

    Yolanda says

    Thank you for all the great tips on pre packing some lunches- not sure why I didn’t think of that sooner! I subscribe to your web site – Again THANK YOU!!!

  77. 994


    Back to school tip? Get some basic supplies at dollar stores like some notebooks and pens…saves money!! And if you have to get more later, go there again…just don’t buy it there if it seems flimsy or easily breakable.

    Pack lunch sometimes if you can if it’s cheaper than buying at school.

  78. 1001

    DG says

    I definitely recommend purchasing supplies a year in advance..right after the school year begins for the next year to get the sales!

  79. 1006


    I cut up my own carrots and celery into the little mini’s. I try to always use washable plastic instead of paper bags and ziplocks.

  80. 1009

    Kandi says

    During the end of the summer, many stores are having back to school sales with supplies for only pennies. When I see them like that, I stock up on the limited amount of them and then my kids will have many leftover items to use the next year too!!

  81. 1013

    Amy says

    I love the thermos – you can send soup, mac n cheese and other yummy lunches that give variety! Homemade lunches are usually more healthy and a great venu for adding a sweet note to each of my boys to tell them I love them! :)

  82. 1016

    Laura DeLuca says

    If you email the companies about their products and tell them how much you like their products, they will usually send you money savings coupons.

  83. 1017

    K. C. says

    My best tip, would be to make sure you only buy what your kids will eat. Those “new” crackers might look yummy, but aren’t worth even a few pennies if no one will eat them.

  84. 1018

    SaraLe says

    My best Back to School Money Saving Tip is to give your child a lunch to take to school and not to buy it.

  85. 1019

    Kathleen says

    I shop garage sales and consignment stores for clothing – I buy 1 or 2 sizes ahead is it’s something I know will fit (shirts, pants with an adjustable waist) and is a great price.

    I make homemade snacks and/or buy in bulk and repackage. I use tupperware instead of plastic bags to repackage.

  86. 1020


    My money saving Tip:
    We have a change Jar that sets on the Kitchen counter that My husnad and I put all of our spare change in. We leave it there just for the kids to grab some change for whatever they may need to purchase at school. When times are tough we have actually paid for their lunches out of it. And the kids know that that money is for school items only. We have had quite a bit of change in there. And in the summer months when school is not in session and during the Winter and summer breaks you can really save up a lot more than you think!

  87. 1025


    My best money saving tip is not to buy all the “convenience” foods that are so tempting because they are so easy. Like the individual packs of apples or carrots and dip. It’s just as easy to cut up an apple (using the apple slicers) or divy up some baby carrots into a bag and pour some ranch dressing into a reusable tupperware container.

  88. 1027


    I don’t have children, but I’m currently going to college.

    My money saving tips is buy used textbooks online through Amazon,, and/or eBay. Most of the time you can find new or like new books for 25-50% off the price you’d pay at the campus bookstore.
    Also, you can use price-comparison search engines like to find the best deals on books.

  89. 1033

    Jennifer says

    My back to school money saving tip is to pool together with several other friends and buy school items in bulk. Many of the items can even be purchases at stores such as Sam’s Club or Costco, and Walmart has wonderful deals as well. Also don’t wait until the last minute. Plan ahead and keep your eye out for specials in the newpaper inserts!

  90. 1035

    Karla says

    Ways I save for school lunches are buying items such as yogurt when it is on sale and using coupons. Also, we are on a GF diet so we use leftovers from supper the night before as the main dish the next day for lunch. I also keep a pot of homemade soup and a bowl of salad in fridge as other options.

  91. 1037

    biglittleperson says

    Some good tips: leftovers! They are always the least expensive way to have lunch. Many schools do have microwaves these days. Bulk buys (snacks like nuts and trail mix can be very expensive but much cheaper when in bulk – or make your own trail mix with bulk nuts and dried fruits) are always good. Using frozen juices (get five small sports bottles fill them two thirds of the way up and freeze) you can keep the lunch cool without additional ice or coolant. Cover the bottle with a foam ‘coozie’ and the sweating is contained and doesn’t spread to the rest of the meal. Add an activity (puzzle, sudoku, riddle, funny story with a vocabulary word) and they will eat slower and exercise their brains at the same time.

  92. 1038

    Valerie Jimenez says

    My best back to school savings tip is to use the back-to-school sales well and stock up on those things that are discounted that I know my son will need during the school year such as pens and pencils.

  93. 1039

    NicholD says

    I like to take advantage of all the back-to-school sales at the grocery stores and stock up on pb&j and other snacks for the kids lunches.

  94. 1041

    Adrian says

    My money-saving tip is to shop at mom-to-moms sale. The stuff is used, but the deals are unbelievable! Can get great deals on BTS clothes.

  95. 1043

    JulieVW says

    I buy a package of themed stickers (this year it is dinosaurs) and use them to decorate cheap (plain) folders, pencil cases, and such. This prevents temper tantrums over not getting an expensive folder with a character on it and personalizes our supplies.

  96. 1045

    Rob says

    Variety. Change up what you send them for lunch. It will allow everything to go further and ensure that they eat it.

  97. 1047

    Christina says

    To save money I buy big packages in bulk with sales and coupons of course, then divide everything into smaller bags.

  98. 1048

    Krystn says

    Buy early & throughout the summer, that’s when some of the best deals are. Don’t wait for the week before!

  99. 1056

    misty says

    My best money saving idea is making your own snack sized portions for lunches. The prepackaged ones from manufacturers are so expensive for the amount you get and it’s so easy to do yourself.

  100. 1057


    Buy school supplies for the next year after school starts and all the school supplies go on clearance. Each year I pick two or three times to really stock up on so that the next year I don’t have to buy any.

  101. 1059

    Diana B says

    My daughter starts preschool this fall so we’re not really into “back to school” ideas yet but the one thing that makes sense to me is to give them homemade food (muffins, cookies, sandwiches) rather than premade, convenience stuff that costs more and is less healthy (meaning more doctor’s visits down the road).

  102. 1060

    Candace Laughead says

    I have been watching sales and what really excited me was I just did price matching at Walmart for an item they were out of at Target. Nice.

  103. 1061


    My favorite way to save is to watch sales and buy the items as cheap as possible…but also to get items on clearance for the next school year. Often backpacks and lunchboxes get marked WAY down and make for an amazing bargain.

  104. 1066

    Nessa says

    One way we make money is by making our own fruit cups to pack instead of buying prepackaged ones. We maek them up in resealable containers, then store them in the freezer. When you pack them in a lunch box they keep everything in it cool. When it’s time to eat you have a slushy like cold fruit treat. The kids love it and I like that I know what is in it (no corn syrup, preservatives, etc), plus it saves money.

  105. 1067

    VicDamone911 says

    My money saving back to school thing I do is: About 2 months before school starts we will watch the ads from the office supply stores. On the very first page they always have “loss leader” school supplies for 1 cent sometimes. We stock up every week until the sales are over.

  106. 1071


    My tip would be to stock up on Back to School clothes when they are on clearance at the end of every season. Just make sure you buy them big enough for the next school year!

  107. 1075


    My tip would be to get the kids back on their school schedule a week or two in advance. Its not easy getting tired kids ready for their first day of school.

  108. 1078

    Annette D says

    The way that I try to save money for Back-to-school is to watch for the sales on school supplies. Many of the larger chains like Target and Walmart offer fantastic deals right before school starts. I also stock up on essentials like underwear and socks on the “no sales tax” weekend.

  109. 1080

    Pam B says

    My favorite Back-to-school tip is to keep the list in my purse and pick up items whenever I see them on sale some where throughout the summer.

  110. 1081

    Meg says

    I receive your daily emails. The best thing I’ve done to save money for back to school this year, honestly, has been the free school supplies (or almost free) at CVS, Walgreens, Target, and Staples. Thanks!

  111. 1083

    Trisha says

    I always buy clothes and supplies off season o on clearence and then pull them out at school time and it takes the stress out of last minute shopping and saves a lot of money by not buying all at once!

  112. 1087


    We live on the border of TN and GA… and each state has a “tax free weekend” about a week or two before school starts… no sales tax on school supplies, clothes and shoes! I made a trip to the outlets in GA during their tax-free weekend and was able to score some great deals!

    I also will stock up on school supplies when they get marked down to clearance.

  113. 1088

    Sarah Reno says

    You really need to pack there lunches instead of letting them buy. It saves you money and you can make sure they are eating healthy. Also buy clothes and supplies ahead of time and on sale to avoid being in a hurry and buying things that are over priced.

  114. 1089

    Amber says

    We are just starting pre-school so I’m new to this ‘school’ shopping thing. But we bought what we needed on sale and for free at cvs. Love your blog! it’s so helpful to a newbie couponer in your area! Thanks!

  115. 1091

    Amanda says

    Buy supplies when there super cheap or free …buy extra for the year and check the next grades list. Not just for school clothes …but buy the next size of clothes when you see them on clearance. Of course check all the coupon sites and blogs! :)

  116. 1093

    Alison Michaud says

    I like to buy grapes when they are on sale. I pack snack bags with the washed grapes and pop them in the freezer. My grapes don’t go bad quickly, I got them at a good price, and they are a quick and easy addition to the lunchboxes.

  117. 1095

    Michele says

    I use teaching wholesalers to purchase school supplies. I can usually get all the items on the list at 50% off or more than the usual retail prices.

  118. 1098

    susan says

    my best tip would be to buy multiples of school supplies in August so that when January comes and they need more markers, colored pencils, etc. you have them and you got them cheap!

  119. 1099

    Laurie says

    My tip would be to inventory what you already have. If you bought 3 cases of spiral notebooks when they were on sale last year and only used 1, you really don’t need to keep adding to your stockpile. If your child only like mechanical pencils, don’t buy regular wooden pencils that are just going to sit around taking up space. :)

  120. 1101

    Amy Chown says

    Besides purchasing the inexpensive school supplies that go on sale every year before school starts, I also find a lot of bargains at garage sales. There are always supplies, clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes, books, etc at many of the sales I go to. Recenly, I attended a couple in which teachers were clearing out some teaching related materials/supplies and was able to pick up some nice learning aids for my 6 year old.

  121. 1103

    Darci Park says

    I wait every year for the back to school sales to stock up on basics like facial tissues! With a household of allergy sufferers, we go throught facial tissues like crazy. With the back to school bundle packs on special, along with coupons, you can get them for cheap!

  122. 1106

    HSB Suzanne (aka Anita) says

    I used your “Tell a Friend” widget to email several friends.
    roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

  123. 1111

    HSB Suzanne (aka Anita) says

    My favorite Back to School Money saving tip is to catch the penny and quarter sales at the various office supply and drug stores. :)

    roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

  124. 1113

    Terri L says

    I buy granola bars, etc on sale with a coupon. This saves a lot of money versus the kids purchasing from the snack bar or vending machine at school.

  125. 1114

    Rebecca Absher says

    As a mother of 3 kids starting school soon this would be a great way to finish up their shopping with…..I am a new subscriber via email.

  126. 1121

    Emma says

    Try not to shop too early-that’s when everything is the most expensive! Wait out the sales and scour the internet for printable coupons!

  127. 1124

    Shawn says

    I purchase school supplies on sale/clearance all throughout the year so we have pretty much everything we need when August gets here.

  128. 1128

    heidih says

    When your kids are young you can buy an inexpensive backpack, but when they get older look for really good, durable, name brand, maybe with a lifetime warranty if possible and pay a little more.. If it’s something they like they will use it year after year and they won’t wear out – get holes etc. I’ve sent good backpacks off to the manufacturer and they’ve repaired them or sometimes even sent me a brand new one instead of a repair. Of course get it on sale too.

  129. 1134

    Felicia says

    I buy winter clearance items a size larger then what my children wear now when it gets marked down in the spring. Low cost and brand new school clothes!

  130. 1135

    Shvonne says

    I buy extra back to school items when they are 5cents or less. I keep these to use the next year and also donate lots too.

  131. 1138

    Carrie says

    Keep a copy of your school’s supply list on hand and buy school supplies throughout the year. Also, I buy school clothes/uniforms throughout the year at yard sales and thrift stores- I have a section of the garage to keep clothes- when you dont have to buy specific sizes, its easier to find good deals.

  132. 1139

    Adriane says

    We have a great consignment store where we bring our good condition children’s clothes, get a store credit, then use that credit to get good clothing cheap : )

  133. 1143

    Brooke Blanchard says

    i have a 5 yr. old entering kindergarten this year and I’m going to use the stockpile of snacks that i have in an extra cabinet for packing lunches. i also make the betty crocker cookie mixes (which i usually buy w/coupons for under $1) and they will last all week as snacks/part of lunch! what a cheap treat! thanks

  134. 1144

    Queen says

    Pre plan lunches for the week! Having everything ready ahead of time prevents realizing at the last minute that I’ve run out of something or didn’t make enough for the week, resulting in having to buy lunch.

  135. 1145

    Toni says

    When my son was younger I always sent him to school with a lunchbox and used a re-usable sandwich container and those frozen blocks to make sure his lunch stayed fresh even though many of the kids had theirs thrown in paper bags. Maybe not frugal but I always sent extas too as there were some kids who would be in school with no lunch at all. I also bought things in larger bags and would individually portion them. Though I did not have the luxury of a computer back then, I tried my best to buy things on sale and would stock up as much as possible to last throughout the whole year.

  136. 1147

    Kimberly says

    Watch for all of the free/nearly free school supply deals and stock up.
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  137. 1158

    Michelle B says

    My tip is to use your coupons. I only have one lunch I need to make so I share items with my sister who has one child and that helps cut down the cost when we split things.

  138. 1159

    Vicki says

    PS i meant to say that this last recipe is great for fruit that is past appetizing but just not ready to be tossed yet. Don’t waste that fruit! :)

  139. 1162

    judy brittle says

    My best back to school money saving tip is to look through those bargain bins in stores. I find some great school supplies digging through those. The package might have a little tear but the product inside is in great shape. Also I always hunt for the 10 for $1.00 sales.
    I really love the clearance sales at Party City I check out stocking stuffers and party packs for birthdays and they have tons of school type items at 75% off. Yes I am a bargain hunter. Thank you!

  140. 1163

    Vicki says

    We try to make extra servings of some things on the weekend to toss into hubby’s or the children’s lunches, like banana bread, roasting an extra chicken to shred for lunches for the week, making fruit roll-ups….

    If interested, here’s our recipe for fruit roll ups in a dehydrator:
    (save the plastic bags from cereal boxes to cut up and line your dehydrator with)

    3 c. applesauce
    1 c. pureed fruit for flavor (frozen fruit that has been thawed is fantastic for this)
    optional: 1 TBSP lemon juice, 2 TBSP honey (we never use these)
    4 trays, lined and ready — keep the inner vents and outer vents (if you have them) open for circulation

    blend ingredients and spread 1/8″ thick on the lined trays. Keep the fruit a half inch away from the edges to make room for expansion when heated. Dehydrate at 135 degrees F for 6-8 hours, depending on the humidity levels of your workspace. When completely dry (not tacky at all), cut to size with clean scissors, roll up and store in airtight containers or baggies

  141. 1164

    Carrie P says

    I am new to couponing (and watching how I spend my money). This was the first year I was frugal in purchasing school supplies – so my tip is to read what others blog. There is a lot of great advice and many people already have figured out what to do and where to go for you. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when you are first learning what to do!

  142. 1165

    Liz says

    My favorite money saving tip is shopping for school supplies when it comes to the really good sales and especially the penny sales. It really adds up to a great savings!

    teedlemac862003 at yahoo dot com

  143. 1168

    jen says

    My back to school money saving tip is to follow blogs that give info. about back to school sales at drugstores with rebates and moneyback deals. jenmizener at gmail dot com

  144. 1169

    cwaltz says

    I shop consignment shops and thrift stores for back to school. My kids generally get one “new” outfit and the rest are from thrift and consignment purchases. The oldest two even love taking $50 for their shopping and seeing how well they can do. My son practically lives in his Homer Simpson “Homeboy” hooded sweatshirt and my daughter loves her girly Charlotte Russe or B Moss clothing. The younger two are so rough on clothes and actually some of the thrift store stuff outlasts the stuff they get “new”.

  145. 1170

    Nancy B says

    I used to buy all kinds of new clothes for the first day of school. The first day of school would come and go, and the new clothes would be ripped in two weeks, and the jeans would be too small by October!

  146. 1172

    Emily says

    Check to make sure that you don’t have left over school supplies from the previous year. Just because it’s on the list doesn’t mean that you have to buy new. Pens, binders, etc. can be used again.

  147. 1174

    Marcie says

    I love back to school sales. Search the blogs (like this awesome one) for the best deals and only buy the “attractors” at each store.. .05 glue sticks? I’m there :)

  148. 1181

    Marie says

    Use those coupons! coupons! coupons! to get the best deals on back to school gear. Shop the sales for clothes or wait until mid-September and hit the clearance section!

  149. 1182

    Lindsay says

    My best money saving tip is buying reusable water bottle to use for water or juice. Ends up being SO much cheaper than individual water or juice bottles!

  150. 1183

    Jennifer says

    I, too, like to make everything in bulk. Pull the snacks out of the freezer and they’ll defrost by lunch!

  151. 1186

    Catherine says

    My favorite money-saving back to school tip is to get together with a group of other Moms at the school and have a uniform exchange. We bring all the shirts, pants, and skirts that our kids have grown out of the prior year but are still wearable, and exchange them for new sizes for the new school year. It saves a lot of money, and is particularly handy for those of us without younger ones to pass items down to.

  152. 1190


    A great way to save on clothes is to put your kids in charge of shopping–no really! First, go through their clothes, get rid of what doesn’t fit, and figure out what they really need. Then, give each kid a list of stuff they HAVE to buy, and a preset amount of money. They have to buy the things on the list, but they get to pick the brands, and then they can do whatever they want with any left-over cash. For example, Daughter might need 2 pairs of pants, a bra, socks, some dress shoes, and a back pack. Give her $100, and see how far she stretches it! I guarantee that she will bypass the trendy $50 jeans she would have wept over to try to get you to buy if you were holding the money. Now that she has the money she will find the cheapest acceptable jeans and try to have money left over for makeup or jewelry or lunch.

  153. 1193

    Russ says

    I have to go with the popular response of “stock up when on sale” for all the kid’s school supplies. My oldest son (11) has taken to the idea and has run with the “lead procurement expert”…searching for the best deals for our dollars.

  154. 1194

    Alicia says

    My favorite tip is to shop at the consignment store. You can get new clothing with the tags still on (many of them are name brand) at a fraction of the cost. If you do your shopping at the end of the season, you can save even more money when seasonal clothing is clearanced out.

  155. 1196

    kasey says

    It sounds so elementary (no pun intended!), but I have been saving money the last couple of years by really setting a budget per category, committing to sticking to it, and then starting early to shop for supplies and clothes, and examining each purchase to see if it makes sense for the price and our needs.
    We used to buy kind of randomly, but being conscious of it has really helped.

  156. 1197

    Kris says

    We stock up on school supplies and lunch snacks while they are on sale (and coupons are available!) They are then available throughout the school year when needed!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  157. 1199

    Telisha says

    I like to stock up during the rock bottom prices. This way later in the yr when the teachers are asking for more wet wipes and the kids’ pencils are nubs…you just go back to the stockpile. And PRICE MATCH.

  158. 1200

    Jen says

    We have four kids and three are in school… so it helps to stock up on extra school supplies to have on hand through out the year. I also try to buy very cheap lunch food with sales/coupons or buy in bulk and divide and conquer! Thanks

  159. 1201

    Kathryn says

    My favorite memory is back to school shopping with my Aunt. She would always let me get a few “fun itmes” for school that my mom would never splurge for!

  160. 1202

    Jean says

    I buy all my school supplies when they are very cheap. I buy extra so that I do not need to pay full price for something needed 1/2 way through the school year. I never pay full price for anything.

    I make my kids lunches everyday. This not only saves a great deal of money, but I know that my kids are getting a much healthier lunch.

    The previous post should read ” I am a subscriber” :)

    Thanks for the great giveaway.

  161. 1207

    kate says

    We try really hard to only eat healthy snacks and lunches are so hard for me since the cookies and chips are cheapest and easy to pack but I have found googling coupons for organic snacks ( like Annies cheddar bunnies- yum!) and usually find good deals — and to STOCK up when I find em!! thank so much

  162. 1208

    Tyree says

    I have my kids use their old backpacks for a few weeks until they go on clearance. Then you can get a new one for about 75% off usually $5 instead of $20.

  163. 1209

    Andrea says

    I pack snacks in snack baggies and put them in a drawer. When my kids need a snack for school or after, they can grab it themselves and they learn portion control as well.

  164. 1210

    Lisa says

    My favorite way to save $ at back to school time is to wait until fall/winter clothes go on clearance and then buy a size bigger for my kids so that they can have them ready to go once the summer is over.

  165. 1211

    debbie says

    Packing good lunches and looking for ways to make them as economical as possible. They are always cheaper than school lunches.

  166. 1214

    Lisa says

    Getting all the great ideas from your site for back to school money saving! Don’t buy anything that is not on sale or without a coupon.

  167. 1217


    My tip: Buy tons of the snacks that your kids eat for lunches. Do this at least 2 weeks before school starts and HIDE THEM. It’ll be one less stress for you during those first 2 weeks of school.

  168. 1219

    Rose says

    My kids re-use their water bottles each week (or longer if they are in good shape). We partially refill them with tap water, freeze them, and the next morning fill them all the way with more water. They do double duty in lunch boxes to keep food cold and, as the ice melts, they are water bottles again.

  169. 1220

    Brittany Albert says

    I like to use a reusable lunch bag and thermos for back to school money saving. It’s better for the environment too! It’s nice not having to spend tons of money on juice boxes.

  170. 1228


    My fav tip for saving money at back to school time is for school uniforms, get to know some parents with kids in grades ahead of yours so you can buy their uniforms at the end of the year for you child.

  171. 1229

    Tricia says

    Make sandwiches and other homemade food items up ahead of time and freeze them. This saves you time and money when you are buying items when they are on sale.

  172. 1232

    $ Money Savin' Momma $ says

    My favorite back to school money saving tip is to read lots of frugal blogs, they give great advice!

  173. 1234


    I like to pack lunches in reusable cases. They have small ones for dips and fresh veggies or fruits with dips are way cheaper and healthier than a pack of chips everyday. Plus, it saves on plastic baggies and my daughter gets a lot of pink in her lunchbox (her favorite color!).

  174. 1235

    Letty says

    This is all new for me – Thank you for all the nice tips on lunches and the back to school specials. Can’t wait to read your 15 days of couponing –

  175. 1236


    My 5 year old will be starting Kindergarten next week, so I’m not sure I have any tips for saving money yet. But I know that I will be packing his lunch for the most part and putting his lunches together the night before, so I’m not running around in the mornings.

  176. 1238

    Andrea says

    I would say buy your supplies when they are on sale before school starts and stock up for the rest of the year.

  177. 1243

    Ysenia Ramirez says

    We love to shop for all the school supply freebies and deals, and we also shop all the really great sales for school clothes, even if that means multiple stores and driving around town. We make it a day trip and spend some family time together and get thiongs down for school. We have alot of fun.

  178. 1245

    Karen R says

    My tip is to look thru the school lunch schedule for the upcoming week. Let your child choose what days he likes what is being served. Then make a sack lunch for the days he doesn’t want to eat the cafeteria food. A child is more likely to eat apple slices than a whole apple. Dried fruit is also a good addition.

  179. 1247

    Nikki says

    Before school in addition to getting the very cheap or free items that are on sale, my boys and I also go through all of the various drawers and desks that have lots of school supplies left over. It is amazing how much of the list we can check off by “shopping” in the drawers at home. We have accumulated several lunchboxes over the years. So now instead of buying 3 new lunch boxes at the beginning of the school year, all of the old models are up for grabs and each boy gets to choose which one will be “his” for this year. I have also been given several small luggage bags (carry on size). My boys have started using these instead of a backpack. They tend to last us the entire year, and even look good for the next year, whereas I have had a few years where I was buying a second set of backpacks mid-year.

  180. 1250

    Mary says

    My money saving BTS tip is to bake your own muffins, granola bars and cookies. I have a GREAT chocolate chip cookie recipe that makes 10 dozen. I roll the dough into balls and flash freeze(so they don’t freeze stuck together in a big blob) so that when I need freshly baked cookies for either my family’s lunches or for company stopping by I can bake them in a jiffy.

  181. 1252

    Nancy says

    My best back to school money-saving tip is to stretch your grocery dollars by shopping at the local farmer’s market. You will be astounded at the low prices and the super fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market. I bet you can even get the kids to try some new fruits and veggies when they pick them out themselves from the farmers’ stands. It is also a health, fun, and free family outing to go to the farmer’s market on the weekend! Give it a try!

  182. 1255


    My best money saving tip is to buy carrots and cut them up (instead of buying small ones) into individual sticks, then portion them out for the week for quick snacks on the go or to go with meals. Also, making muffins in advance and freezing them for quick breakfasts is a GREAT money and time saver!

  183. 1256

    robin says

    We don’t eat much bread at our house so when we run low I make the boys peanut butter and cracker sandwiches. The crackers don’t spoil like bread and the kids like the cute little ‘sandwiches’!

  184. 1257

    Stephanie M says

    WOW- what a GREAT giveaway…. as a 2nd grade teacher I am able to experience the back to school feeling EVERY year!!!

    my best back to school tip— is to shop the back to school sales… and stock up. (when else can you get coloring crayons for 19 cents a box) YAHOOO… buy extra and use them as christmas gifts too!

  185. 1268


    I like to buy school supplies when they are on clearance. You can usually find things like markers, pencils, pens at holiday times. Since we homeschool, I have a tote where I keep all our extra scissors, pencils, pens, markers, glue, etc.

  186. 1269


    My best $$ saver is using the little snack bags instead of sandwich bags… great invention. When ever possible I also use small plastic containers for food items instead of baggies to save on cost and waste. I buy food and divide up instead of buying from the vending & soda machines.

  187. 1278

    kimberly says

    We’re just rotating between packing lunches versus buying there, and picking up as much as possible while there’s sales.

  188. 1280

    Ellen C. says

    I like to bake up big batches of cookies and muffins and freeze them. I’ll take out small batches at a time to give to my son for lunches. Thanks for the chance.

  189. 1281

    Tanya says

    I agree with others on SAVE BIG on school stuff by buying NOW and buying extras when the sales are on. When it comes to lunches get my son to help in packing his lunch so he is more willing to eat it since he invested the time to help prepare it!!! And to make it fun — roll ups, shapes, surprises etc…

  190. 1283


    My favorite ways to save money on back to school shopping are to SHOP THE SALES! CVS gives school supplies away. We use lots o reusable bags in our house instead of ziplocs. They are fun and easy to make.

  191. 1288


    My daughter is not in school yet, but I would think that it would be a great time to take advantage of all of these school supply sales at Staples, Walgreens, Office Max, etc. to stock up for the whole year – and beyond. I don’t think there is an expiration date on most school supplies! :-) thanks

  192. 1289

    Erin says

    I started shopping for school supplies in July when they free after ECB/RR or coupons. I think I now have everything for my daughter and I think I only spent around $7.00 (which includes a backpack).

  193. 1293

    DanielleCorrelle says

    My kids are too young for school, but I have already started to buy the free/moneymaker or very inexpensive school supplies. I figure by the time they start school, I can just shop from my bin of supplies and then go purchase whatever else they might need…but hopefully I’ll have it all covered. I plan to purchase a tub and just keep it in my garage with the holiday decorations, etc.

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    Melissa says

    My favorite tip is to do a lot of baking and then package up all the cookies in individual portions so they are ready to go. I will also portion out chips, crackers, etc. I keep all these in a basket that I have just for the lunch items.

  195. 1297

    Nadia says

    My lil ones are 2 yrs and 5 weeks so I don’t have to worry about school yet. BUT..I will be student teaching and then, YAY, teaching full time hopefully next fall, and I plan on bringing my own lunch every day!

  196. 1302

    amy p says

    My mom used to put cake in our lunches but sliced it in half and put the frosting sides together. I will pass that down to my kids.

  197. 1308

    Wendy says

    My hot tip is to buy 5 snack containers and fill them all up on Sunday night with snacks. I keep all my “lunch supplies” in a basket in my cupboard. I just pull the basket out, and there are juice boxes, filled snack containers and ziplocs that I need for lunch.

  198. 1310

    Mary says

    My best tip is to take advantage of coupons/sales in combination with your state’s tax-free weekend.

    mfalcon13 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  199. 1312

    Danika says

    My son takes a home-packed lunch everyday. This saves us lots of money over the year. Plus I know it’s stuff he will eat and more nutrious than the school-bought lunches. Also, I stock up on school supplies while they’re all at the cheapest. I try to buy enough to last us the whole year as well as donating some.

  200. 1315

    Mellisa W says

    Buy school supplies a little at a time when they are on sale for pennies. Take the sale bills to WM and they will honor them.

  201. 1317

    Tiffny Rigby says

    I get all my school supplies for free. I shop the rebate sales and Register Rewards/Extra Care Bucks. This is my first year with a student. Wish me luck!

  202. 1319

    Tabetha says

    I subscribe

    My best tip is try to wait until after school starts when the stores want to get rid of extra school inventory to get ready for halloween/Christmas. I got a calendar for the next year and glue sticks for 75% off . I just now down to my last stick. I saved a bundle!

  203. 1324


    Money Saving Tip: For Birthday’s and holidays I ask only to receive gift cards so that I may purchase item for the kids when needed. This has been a huge help this year. I’m not out any out of pocket expenses at all yet.

  204. 1325

    Julie Curry says

    Involve your kids in choosing and making their lunches! That way you know you are packing something they like and will eat, and they may brag at school the next day about making their own lunches!

  205. 1327

    Maria says

    start buying back to school supplies that you will know you need (notebooks, pencils, markers, etc) all throughout the year whenever you see a great discount or deal. It makes sticker shock go away when you don’t have to spend a LOT of money upfront.

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    I like to buy fresh fruit (when it is on sale, of course) wash it, and package it in little snack zipper bags so they are ready to go. My girls also like them for an after school snack.

  207. 1333

    Laura F says

    I buy in bulk during the month prior to school when we have these GREAT sales. I then break everything up into individual baggies so they’re ready for lunches and then designate one cabinet to store all the goodies so they ALWAYS have nice lunches!

  208. 1334

    Melinda says

    I stock up during the summer when there are so many sales. I have enough snacks now that should do me until Christmas for very little money!!

  209. 1339

    Missy says

    When sending lunches to school, save money (and the world!) by using re-usable bags. Etsy has all kinds of re-usable bags for kids to stash cookies, carrots and sandwhiches in!

  210. 1340

    Jenna Sluiter says

    I just subscribed to your e-mail/newsfeed. I can’t wait to start getting your deals e-mailed to me.

  211. 1341

    Jenna Sluiter says

    My best money saving tip is to never buy individual bags of chips/snacks. We only buy the big bags and stock up when they are on sale. I then use ziplocs to separate them. Also we use lunch boxes and also reusable containers when we can to save on the cost of baggies.

  212. 1342

    Penny says

    My big money saving back-to-school tip is to buy great clothes at garage sales (& thrift stores). I find garage sales are usually cheaper than thrift stores. My kids are young and not really in to name brand store bought, but I’m hoping to condition them so as they get older they don’t mind garage sale clothing as long as they like the style.

  213. 1343

    Linda B says

    Buy food and juice in larger packages then pack in reusable containers for lunch. Also buy extra school supplies while they are dirt cheap. Use later in the year or donate them to your school.

  214. 1344

    Chris B. says

    I hit the back to school sales at all of the office supply stores and try to get enough supplies for this school year and the next!

  215. 1345

    Tami says

    My biggest back to school tip is packing lunch. My daughter is an extremely picky eater and I found paying for school lunches were a waste of money for two reasons 1) she didn’t eat everything and 2) I can buy all that food cheaper. Everything you can pack in a lunch is so much cheaper when you buy it at home. I send a note in her lunch every day to tell her how special she is!

  216. 1351

    DesignHER Momma says

    instead of juice boxes, we use a reusable thermos. Also – we use cute reusable sandwhich and snack bags – bought off Etsy.

  217. 1353

    Larena says

    I bake my own cookies instead of buying the prepackaged ones. Also use reusable containters instead of plastic baggies when possible.

  218. 1354

    CaySedai says

    My favorite money-saving tip is to buy more than is needed at the beginning of the year. Spiral notebooks are 15 cents at our Wal-Mart right now. After school starts, they go back to (I think) around 97 cents. In a month or so, when my child uses up the notebook, I want to pull out a 15-cent one, not go buy another one at 97 cents. If I still have some left at the end of the year, well, they don’t expire. They are still usable and can save money for next year (last year they were 10 cents).

    I think I might not stockpile glue sticks, but just about everything else should be good. And watch after school starts, when they start marking what’s left for clearance. They will want to clear the shelves for Halloween (I’ve already seen Halloween candy at a local grocery store!) and mark prices down. That’s a good time to pick up extras, and also office supplies for your home.

  219. 1355

    Suzanne says

    I always go through everything he brings home at the end of the school year and clean it up/assess what’s there. Most of it is trash but there are always items (1/2 used notebooks, rulers, pens, pencils, book covers, etc.) that can be reused. I have a drawer in my desk that is just for school supplies so I make sure to put the reusables in there. Come time for back to school, I print out his list, check off what I have and go from there. You’d be surprised at how much this cuts down on the list!

  220. 1356

    Erin says

    Pick up kids’ clothes at the end of the seasons when they go on clearance, even if they are larger than your child’s current size. Avoid super trendy stuff or character- or movie-themed items that would date them. Go for the basics: jeans, tees, polos, shorts, etc., to form the bones of each season’s wardrobe. I keep new clothes divided by size and season in my son’s closet, and clothes currently being worn in his drawers, so when he needs something in a larger size, I just have to check the closet. The most important point is knowing how much items cost so that you can recognize good deals.

  221. 1357

    Tammy T. says

    I like to stock up when school supplies are cheapest for the whole year, plus I buy more for their classroom. This year I am waiting until until lunch boxes go on sale and then my kids can have a new one, until then they are using their old ones from last year.

  222. 1359

    Maria Scott says

    My favorite back to school money saving tip is to stock up on items when there great sales. I love the 1 cent sales at Staples and they are always items you can get for FREE with coupons.

  223. 1360

    Elizabeth Shepherd says

    Make an initial investment of reusable containers for kids lunches. It may cost a little more at the beginning but will save you in Ziploc and juice box costs in the long run. Plus you’re doing your part to save the planet!

  224. 1361

    Tracy says

    Do you know that Nestles imports atleast 50% of the apples to make juice from CHINA. Also most products are not make inUSA. Do we want our food made in other countries with lower health standards? This is really scary to me.

  225. 1364

    brandy w says

    we always make sure the kids bring a lunch.
    we but most of our school supplies at the $1 store or on tax free weekend.
    we are actually going to be taking our daughter to school, because of budget cuts they are charging for the bus and even some routes have no bus available. saving money that way.

  226. 1365

    Sara says

    My best tip is to buy back-to-school clothes in the off-season. I got most of my daughter’s back-to-school wardrobe at the end of last winter and am now getting out the rubbermaid tubs full of clothes. I snagged Levis for $4.97 on clearance back in March and have tons of long sleeved shirts to mix and match with them, all at a fraction of the cost that I would be paying if I were to buy them now. Now I’m stocking up on summer clothes for next year. Also, now is a great time to stock up on socks and underwear.

  227. 1366

    Jen says

    I like to keep my kids aware of what the plans are for the day. A little post it note inside their lunch reminds them of any sports practice that night, any change in plans and who will pick them up from school.

  228. 1368

    Shelly Powell says

    I guess my best money saving tip would be making large batches of cookies and freezing them and taking out a few everyday for lunches. It really saves money and the kids adore a little homemade with their day:) Thanks for a chance at such a great giveaway!

  229. 1369

    kris says

    Try to buy at least 1 extra of the school supplies. When spiral notebooks are on sale for .05 I bought 10 of them – the price of what they are normally. We don’t need them now, but between school and ‘scrap’ paper, it’s saving in the long run.

  230. 1370

    stacie says

    Our local Wonder Bread outlet store has snack cakes, bread and buns at highly discounted prices. I stock up on the bread and freeze it so I always have some on hand for the emergency lunch. One of my kids can’t stand the salisbury steak!

  231. 1373

    Melissa says

    After school starts and Target and other stores put backpacks and lunchboxes on clearance, I always pick up a few extras at 75% off. We’ve had a few years when the strap on the backpack broke mid year or the lunchbox was forgotten on the bus. These back-ups have saved a ton of money.