Back to School Savings Tips

School is right around the corner, and every year it seems like back to school shopping gets more expensive. From pencils to textbooks, there’s a lot to spend on in order to prepare your child adequately for the school year.

In 2014, the National Retail Foundation reported that the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics. That’s a huge cost – and one that not every family can afford. It is important that every student begins the school year with the resources they need to be successful.

If you are looking to minimize costs, here are some tips and resources on how to do so:

AISD Back to School Bash

On August 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Austin ISD will be hosting the 10th Back to School Bash at the Palmer Events Center. There will be free backpacks for AISD students filled with school supplies (while supplies last), free vision exams and free vaccination opportunities. Be sure to bring your child’s shot record! AISD will also be providing free shuttles at various locations throughout Austin. Find out more information on the shuttles here.

Shop at Local Thrift and Second Hand Stores

Most people go straight to big name stores when they shop for back-to-school however, thrift stores can be some of the best places to find affordable gently-used clothing for the school year. Find a Goodwill Central Texas or Salvation Army to find some quality second-hand bargains which will help you save in the long run.

El Mundo Newspaper-Back to School Fest

El Mundo Newspaper is hosting their annual Back to School Fest which will offer a variety of health services including: immunizations, nutrition education and health screenings(i.e. cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar screenings). Parents and/or children will be eligible for school supplies and a backpack once completing a minimum of three screenings, while supplies last. Please make sure to bring your child’s shot records for immunization services. This is a great opportunity to get screened for health services and receive the resources your child needs to be on track to a successful school year!

Use the Back to School Budget Calculator

Take advantage of the back to school budget calculator before planning your purchases. Sitting down with your children and showing them how to use the calculator can be a great opportunity to teach essential money lessons while you create a budget for the spendings. Starting conversations on money management with your kids at young age will only benefit them in the future with making responsible financial decisions!

Take Advantage of Tax-Free Weekend

Tax-free weekend is right around the corner! August 7th-August 9th will be the Texas annual sales tax holiday. Like previous years, the law exempts most footwear, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 from sales tax. Beat the crowds by waking up early and getting to the stores right when they open.

Back to School Parade 

On August 23rd, the Back to School Parade will be held at the baseball field located on the back portion of Bartholomew Park at 5201 Berkman Dr. There will be free school supplies available to Kindergarten-12th grade Central Texas Students. Arrive early because supplies will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. The event starts at 1 p.m.

Superior Health Plan-Back to School Fair

Informational resource booths will be set up at the Doris Miller Auditorium, located at 2300 Rosewood Ave, on August 15th starting at 9 a.m. Limited amounts of school supplies and backpacks will be distributed to Kindergarten-12th grade students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Come out and get informed on Superior HealthPlan, a health care provider for Texans enrolled in Medicaid, CHIP, Medicare, and the new healthcare marketplace exchange and receive some school supplies!

Interested in finding more resources to prepare your child for school? Visit the 2-1-1 website or call the hotline and press option 1. 2-1-1 is available 24/7!

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