Money Saving Tips for Back-to-School

Sending the kids back to school usually means shelling out a lot of money on school supplies, clothes, and more.  Here are some of my tips on how NOT to go broke this fall.  | This post contains affiliate links | 

Money Saving Tips for Back-to-School

Invest in a Good, Basic Backpack and Lunchbox

Question:  How many parents buy their kids new backpacks and lunchboxes every single year? 
Answer:  Wayyyy too many! 

There's really no reason to shell out money that often on items that can can stand the test of time if you pick them right. I highly suggest NOT picking a character or crazy pattern backpack or lunchbox. Kids' tastes change from year to year (and sometimes week to week), and if you pick themed or cheaply made items they will not last. Our general guideline is upgrading backpacks once every "big transition" in school - so one backpack to last kindergarten through elementary school, a new one to last through middle school, and then finally a new one for high school. We love solid-color backpacks from high-quality companies like LL Bean - you just know they're going to last and never go out of style. (Pro-tip: check out the Outlets to get great, name-brand backpacks for less!)

Consignment Shop for Back-to-School Clothes

If you've been following the blog for any amount of time now, you know I'm a big fan of consignment selling and shopping.  It's a great way to get rid of any clothes or shoes your kids might have outgrown or refuse to wear and make some money back to use on gently used, name-brand "new" items.  That way you're essentially "trading up" for new clothes, and spend a lot less out of pocket. 
{You can read more on my Consignment Selling and Shopping Tips HERE}

Quality backpack and clothes from a consignment shop stretch your back to school budget farther!

Buy Snacks in Bulk and/or Store Brand

If you pack your child's snacks and lunches the cost can definitely can add up over time.  One way to save is to buy in bulk whenever possible.  If you can buy prepackaged snacks in larger quantities the price-per-item is a lot lower.  Buying store brand items over name brand is another great way to save.  

Reusable Water Bottle

Juice boxes are expensive (and arguably unhealthy), so having your child take a reusable water bottle to school saves a lot of money and also helps keep their sugar intake in-check.

Reuse Last Year's School Supplies

Money Saving Tips for Back to School

A lot of times the school supply list will include things like a set of binders, markers, glue, a pencil case, etc.  Many times there's no reason to repurchase these things - they can often be reused from year-to-year.  Empty out the old papers from last years binders and reuse those.  And the makers, crayons, glue sticks, etc?  They likely have plenty of life left - no need to buy more just yet!  

Coupon and Rebate Apps

And of course, a great way to save if you need to buy items is to use coupons or rebates whenever you can. We really love Coupons.com for printing coupons and the rebate app Ibotta for earning money back on purchases. At the beginning of the school year, coupons and rebates on back-to-school items are usually plentiful, but make sure to only buy what you really need!

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Back-to-School Amazon Picks

It's almost that time!  Are you ready for back to school yet?  
I've put together a list of some of my favorite Amazon back-to-school finds for all ages and grade levels.  | This post contains affiliate links |

Back-to-School Amazon Favorites!

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Christmas in July Sale!

Christmas in July Sale!  Everything in the Etsy shop (except signs) is 15% off through August 1st. Get a jump start on your Christmas shopping and stock up on ornaments now!  

Just use the Coupon Code "JULY2018" to get 15% off! 

Christmas in July Sale!

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Hey, Hey it's Prime Day!

Amazon Prime Day is HERE! 

You can shop all the sales through my link below - now is a great time to stock up on household staples, get ahead on Christmas gifts, and maybe treat yourself to something special that's been on your wishlist.  Don't miss out!  

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Shop Small - and Secondhand

I'm a big fan of supporting small/local companies as well as shopping secondhand when I can.  I consign a lot and often use the money earned from the consignment shop towards new items - that way in a sense we're just "trading up" and not spending a lot out of pocket.  

I thought I'd share some outfit details from a recent wedding we attended to show how you can pull these things together. This dress is Lauren by Ralph Lauren (I couldn't find the exact one to link, but here is a similar one - affiliate link), and I bought it second-hand at a NH-based consignment store called M&C. Because I had store credit from consigning some things there, I only had to pay a whopping 62 cents out of pocket for it! The leather "Buoy Block Clutch" is from Maine-based company Eklund Griffin, and while it can be considered an investment piece it's definitely something that's well-made and timeless and will get a lot of use for many years to come. Finally the gold necklace is from The Silver Wren on Etsy - a small shop that makes beautiful hand-stamped jewelry. I had this necklace made with our daughters' initials and love that I can wear it dressed up or down.

By spending your money wisely, you can get the most impact by saving big shopping second-hand and supporting small and local companies when you can.  Happy shopping!  

Save big and invest in small business by shopping secondhand and shopping small.

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Shop my Amazon Favorite Finds with Ease!

Amazon Influencers now have categories which makes browsing my Favorite Finds so much easier!  Check out my lists and let me know if you have any questions on the products - I have different lists for Home, Kitchen Favorites, DIY Supplies + Tools, Fashion + Beauty, Outdoors, and Baby + Kid Items. 
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Shop Birch Landing Home's Amazon Favorites with Ease!

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Shop My Favorite Finds on Amazon!

We're huge Amazon fans in this house - living out in the boonies like we do means that a lot of home and grocery shopping is done online and you can't beat Amazon for their selection and Prime shipping!  | This page contains affiliate links |

I've created a page on Amazon to showcase some of our favorite Amazon finds - everything from home, to beauty, to baby and kid items.  Items with a "speech bubble" in the corner means I've added a note about that item, just give it a click to see what I have to say about it.  

Feel free to check our Favorite Amazon Finds often since I'll be continuing to add more items as they come up.  

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Goals for 2018

Every New Year, there's an inspiring urge to finally accomplish all that you've been meaning to do.  As someone who tends to get caught up in the everyday, I love this motivation to see the big picture and write down what I'd like to accomplish the coming year.  

Goals for 2018 - Birch Landing Home

First, lets look back at all the great things that 2017 brought! 

The biggest blessing of 2017 was definitely adding to our family with the birth of our second daughter at the end of the summer.  The pregnancy and new baby stage kept me pretty busy throughout the whole year, and so Birch Landing Home took a bit of a backseat for 2017.  Nevertheless, highlights for BLH this year have included being quoted in Parenting New Hampshire Magazine and adding another wholesale account to our roster.  I also got the opportunity to work with some of my favorite international brands including L.L. Bean, Nรปby, and Safety 1st as well as many wonderful New England-based companies including Hills & Trails, Woodboogah, and Cobalt Sky Studio.  

Goals for 2018

I have a lot of professional and personal things I'd like to accomplish or improve for 2018 - here are some of them:  

Grow Birch Landing Home More

This past year, Birch Landing Home was put on the back burner while I focused on family.  Family always comes first, but this year I want to get back into the working groove and grow BLH more.  I have some great ideas for new products to add to the Etsy Shop and DIY projects to share on the blog.  I'd also love to do more work with both international brands and New England-based buisnesses. 
(I also have an incredibly exciting collaboration lined up for the spring that I can't wait to share with you all!)  

Get Back into Running

While I ran throughout my first pregnancy, this time around I just couldn't so I stopped running and haven't gotten back into it since.  I don't know if another Half is on the books for this year with the new baby, but I'd love to at least get back into a regular running routine and do a few fun 5Ks.  

Clean House

Going through the house and systematically purging everything in the beginning of the year is something I really look forward to.  It's so refreshing to go through everything and donate or sell whatever you haven't been using for the past year.  Now that we have two kids the amount of "stuff" has exploded and I'm looking forward to getting it under control.  

Make More Time for Family and Friends

We've been so busy with work and our own family we haven't had the chance to visit enough with family and close friends this past year.  We're way overdue to visit some great friends and you can never spend enough time with your family.  This is an important priority for us in the new year.  

Get Up Early

Getting up early before the rest of the house really helps me get a jump on my day.  This was something that had been part of my routine but has fallen by the wayside over the last few months.  There's just something so motivating about getting up before everyone else, enjoying a cup of coffee in the peace and quiet, planning out your day, and getting a jump start on your to-do list.  Days when I get up early are so much more productive and let me focus more on the kids and other important tasks the rest of the day.  

Get Outside More

I'm really looking forward to more hiking and camping trips with family and friends this year.  There have been a couple of hikes that have been on our "to-do list" forever and it's high time we finally do them!  There's nothing better than getting outside to recharge. 

Explore New England! 

One of our favorite things to do as a family is day trips and weekend trips around New England to explore all the great things this area has to offer.  Usually we do a couple trips every year and this year I'd love to do even more if we can - especially in Maine and Vermont.  I'd also like to share our knowledge and put together more New England Travel Guides for the blog.  

What are some of your goals for the New Year? 

Photo from Free Nature Stock

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