These top tips will help keep back to school costs low

From books to backpacks, and corduroys to calculators, back to school can be a tough time for any wallet. Here are some essential tips for keeping costs low so you can get everything you need to keep those grades high.

Children often have mixed feelings about back to school time. They can’t wait to see their friends again, but they also miss lazy summer days at home, sleeping late, and spending time with their families. For parents, back to school time often means spending tons of extra money on supplies, clothing, and other necessities. Luckily, there is a way for parents to make this time of a year a little cheaper by buying some used items.


One of the easiest back to school items to purchase used is clothing. Start by checking out the local thrift stores and consignment shops in your area, and even consider visiting neighbourhood yard and garage sales. You can also look for used designer clothing for sale on Kijiji, and you may even be surprised at the quality of the clothing you can find. If your child is into a certain designer because all of his or her friends are wearing it, you may even find that pair of designer jeans or one of the designer’s shirts for a price far lower than what you would pay for it in a department store or retail shop. Finally, if you have friends or neighbours with older children, you can consider asking if they are interested in selling the items their children can no longer wear.

Classroom Supplies

Many teachers hand out a list of supplies students will need for the school year, and even if they do not, you probably have a good general idea of what to buy. Pens, pencils, paper, and notebooks are almost always necessary for students of any age. Before heading to the store, shop at home first. You may find an old box of pencils lying around from last year or notebooks with only one or two used pages in them. Advanced students often need graphing calculators, which can be quite expensive, so look for one being sold by a recent graduate on Kijiji. Consider asking grandparents and other close friends and relatives if they have any supplies they can share or sell as well.


If your child must supply his or her own books for class, it can get expensive quickly. Luckily, several major book retailers offer used book sales on their websites. There are also websites dedicated specifically to selling pre-owned textbooks, and some campus bookstores sell pre-owned books too. You can often find new and used math and sciences textbooks on Kijiji, where people often resell textbooks for cash.

Computers and Electronics

Of all the items your child needs for school, computers, laptops, tablets, calculators, and other electronics can cost you the most money. Luckily, several major retailers are selling refurbished versions of these items at a significantly lower price these days. They generally work just like the new version, and many of them even come with a one-year warranty just in case something goes wrong. Kijiji is a popular place to find gently used electronics perfectly suitable for the demands of young students.

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