smart spending

6 tips for frugal back-to-school savings

Take inventory
Take inventory

Choose a day before you begin to shop and go through your kid's clothes to see what you can salvage from last year, says Nina Restieri, founder of momAgenda.com and an organizational expert in Greenwich, Connecticut.

First, prepare an inventory sheet by dividing a sheet of paper into four columns and write the child's name, the article of clothing, the quantity you have and how many you need to buy across the top.

Then, remove everything from your child's closet and drawers, have him try on each piece of clothing and whatever fits goes on your inventory sheet.

Restieri suggests having trash bags handy for items that need to be discarded and for clothing you can donate to charity. That way, you're cleaning out closets while creating some real back-to-school savings.

"With school supplies, lunch boxes and backpacks, I suggest starting fresh each year," says Restieri. "For us, the backpacks and lunch boxes in our house barely last one school year."

And remember, school supplies usually change each year according to the grade and teacher preferences.

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