Kids Heading Back to School, Dahlgren? Read These Back-to-School Saving Tips!

Back-to-school time means the return of something other than homework and report cards: more frequent partings with our hard-earned cash! Because between the new clothes, gym shoes, and school supplies, bank accounts can really take a hit ($670 per child, according to Bankrate!). Below, find a few saving tips to help you start the new school year on a frugal foot!

1) Host a clothing and supplies swap at Dahlgren. This is especially effective if you have a network of friends and family with kids of different ages and genders!. Invite everyone to bring over a set amount of their kids' unused, unwanted, or outgrown items. From last year's calculators and art supplies to too-small backpacks and unwanted sports equipment, the swap will be like a savings treasure hunt!

2) Set a budget. Read over your kids' lists of required school supplies, then reference your bank or credit card statements from the last back-to-school season to get an idea of how much you'll be spending. Create a budget, giving first priority to the items on the list. If your kids are old enough to shop alone, consider giving them their budgeted amount in cash. That way, they'll be forced to spend wisely.

3) Keep an eye out for sales. Don't hesitate to comparison-shop or to request retailers to match competitors' coupons. If you come across a really great bargain on something essential (e.g. pens or notebooks), consider stocking up for next school year, too!

For more ways to save, check out the links below:

10 Back-To-School Shopping Tips that Save Money [Parenting]
6 tips for frugal back-to-school savings [Bankrate]
7 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping [Family Circle]
10 tips for smart back-to-school shopping [GreatSchools]

Back-to-School-Time Is Fast Approaching, Dahlgren! Fete the Occasion With These Fun Back-to-School Family Traditions!

It's almost that special time again, Dahlgren: back-to-school time! You're probably feeling some mixed emotions (relief, anticipation, sadness) about your kids returning to school, so why not channel that energy into establishing a new family tradition? The blog Dating Divas has a cute roundup of 25 first day of school traditions, all of which can help ensure the upcoming school year gets off on the right foot. Here are some of our favorite ideas from the list!

1) Have a fashion show.
On the eve of the first day of school, have your kids model their first-day-of-school outfits during a fun fashion show. You could use chairs to create a runway in your living room at Dahlgren, and elect one person from your family to serve as the fashion show's announcer.

2) Bake (and decorate) a giant cookie.
Greet your kids after their first day of school with a giant cookie or cake decorated with a congratulatory saying, like "Happy first day of school!" or "You did it!" Let them nibble the sweet as they tell you all about their new teachers, or save the treat for after dinner.

3) Make a time capsule.
Sometime before the school year commences, have your children write down their goals for the new school year. You could also include their accomplishments from the previous school year, as well as some of their favorite moments from the summer. Before they head to the school bus, snap a picture to tuck into the time capsule. Then, at the end of the year, have fun reviewing the contents of the capsule!

To read the list in full, click over to 25 FUN First Day of School Traditions on!

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