Back to School {Simplified} **Giveaway and $45 in Clothing Credits**

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Back to School: Simplified

“You learn something every day if you pay attention.”
– Ray LeBlond

My oldest son is going to be a high school senior this year.

A freaking senior.

 I literally can’t even. Where does the time go? 

That means I’ve been doing “Back to School” for twelve years of my life now. Plus three years of preschool. 

It’s a busy time of year. And it can be expensive too. Between shopping for new clothes, school supplies and figuring out what the heck to send in your child’s lunch box (oh yeah, and add ‘lunch box’ to the ever growing list of things to pick up while you’re at the store), it’s easy to feel a little…frazzled. 

I understand. And I want to help. So here are some tips to help make sending your kids back to school frugal, and maybe even a little bit fun. I collaberated with a few video bloggers to make a playlist of back to school videos too, so if you’d like to watch all of their great back to school ideas, click here.


Going to the mall to buy school clothes in the fall can turn into a huge investment. Of course, nobody wants to send their kids back to school without a few new outfits, not to mention, kids usually outgrow the previous year’s clothes and need new sizes anyway. 

You have options other than the mall though. 

First, there are thrift stores and garage sales.

These are your least expensive options. If you aren’t a regular at your local Goodwill, you may be put off at the thought of thrifting a back to school wardrobe. Don’t be. You can find plenty of brand name clothing at thrift stores. Often with the tags still on! My general plan of action when it comes to buying clothing from thrift stores or garage sales is:

1. Go often and early.

I go to thrift stores more than once a week, and often visit garage sales early on Saturdays before all the good stuff has been picked over. Thrift stores get new merchandise daily, so get in there and buy it before someone else does. 

2. Look at multiple sizes.

If you kids are still growing, look for clothes in their current size and one or two sizes bigger. Keep the clothes together in bins labeled by size, and you’ll always be ready for growth spurts. 

3. Go to the pricier neighborhoods.

Thrift stores generally sell merchandise donated from the surrounding areas, so if you live near an expensive part of town, hit their thrift stores and garage sales for higher end merchandise. 

If you prefer to shop online, a popular online thrift store type website is Schoola.

For a $15 credit to Schoola, click HERE

And look at what adorable things this mom found at garage sales!

Second, there are online consignment shops like ThredUp and Twice.

Both have designer kids clothing at a fraction of the price. Twice also sells men’s clothing, so I look for things for my teen son there. You can send them your old clothes (or your kids old clothes) if they are in good condition, and get cash or store credit. 

For $20 credit to ThredUp click HERE

For $10 credit to Twice click HERE

Last, try eBay.

Look for clothing in your child’s size sold in lots. Once I got an entire back to school wardrobe for my son in one lot on eBay. 


Do you ever notice how kids end up customizing their plain folders and notebooks with doodles and stickers? 

Encourage them to be creative and make their supplies their own, and they may even get more excited about using them to do homework. Some simple ways to customize school supplies are:

1. Buy plain composition notebooks and embellish them with duct tape sheets (like these) from your local craft store. 

2. Customize plain 3 ring binders by sliding in sheets of scrapbook paper. Don’t forget the spine!

3. Use washi tape either lengthwise or width-wise on pencils and pens for a unique look. 

4. Add chalkboard labels to notebooks and binders.

5. For more fun tips, watch this video:

Quick Breakfasts

School day breakfasts need to be fast enough to get everyone out the door on time and healthy enough to keep your child focused on schoolwork until lunch time. This video shares 3 healthy breakfasts that accomplish those goals:

Healthy, Packable Lunches

Packing a healthy lunch doesn’t have to be hard. Here are my Top Ten Lunch Packing Tips, and here is A Month of Gluten Free Lunch Inspiration. I also made you a video showing 3 easy, healthy and packable lunches your kids will love. 

Fun Accessories

And don’t forget to have a little fun before the summer ends too! Try having a “crafternoon” (an afternoon spent crafting) with your kids and their friends before they go back to school. Polymer clay is a hot trend in the crafting world right now, and miniature food is a lot of fun to make, and could be a fun piece of jewelry or be attached to a pen or folder for a diy, custom look. 

**I’m giving away two of the LunchBlox kits I use in my School Lunch Video. Want to win one? It’s easy!**

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Back to School, Simplified!

About Kelley

Hi! I'm Kelley. Real foodie and crunchy mom to a teenager and a toddler. My husband and I live in Southern California.


  1. Save money by price matching and using coupons. With so many back to school items to get it makes all the difference. If you really plan ahead, get everything for back to school at their clearance events after school has started. You will have a stock of items for next year at a fraction of the price.

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