The start of the school season often causes an uptick in purchases, from school supplies to new clothes. Here are a few tips to help you save money and resources.
- Inventory what you have at home before making additional purchases.
- Check thrift stores for reusable school supplies such as binders and backpacks.
- Choose products with recyclable packaging or packaging made of recycled content.
- Consider refurbished computers over new ones. They often cost less, and some come with a warranty when purchased from the manufacturer.
- Connect with dorm mates ahead of time to determine which housewares – from dishes and hair dryers to furniture and electronics – you can share, cutting down on unnecessary purchases.
- Reuse items from home when furnishing the dorm room. For remaining items still needed, check local thrift stores.
- Explore options to safely bike and walk to school.
- Start a walking or biking team in your neighborhood to get to school safely.
- Start or join a carpool to reduce pollution and traffic congestion and save time and money.
- High-schoolers in the Portland Public School District can ride TriMet at reduced fares.
- Use reusable containers and utensils.
- Make sure your child can open tupperware and other containers. Practice at home.
- Worried your child will accidentally throw away your metal utensils at school? Try decorating a few metal or plastic spoons with bright colors. Add their name to help them identify it as a special, personal, reusable tool.
- Keep a running list of needed items on the fridge or on your phone to avoid multiple, last-minute car trips.
- Choose tap water over bottled products. It’s just as good and – at less than a penny per gallon – it’s a bargain.
- Keep half apples from turning brown by using a lemon juice soak, light salt treatment or by blanching them.
- The #1 item in school lost and founds are jackets. Add a label or write your family’s last name or phone number on the tag. If your last name is common, include the first initial of your child’s name as well.
- To prevent lost hats, have your child practice stuffing their hat in their jacket sleeve at home.
- Shop for back-to-school apparel at thrift and vintage-clothing stores.
- Host a clothing-swap party for friends and neighbors.