Back to School Without Breaking the Bank

Summer fun is almost over. Time to start preparing for back to school. - #PaylessInsider #SoleStyle


It’s bad enough that my girls burn through shoes like they are going out of style, but the schools certainly aren’t helping matters.

Let me back up for a minute to paint a picture of the shoes in our closets. Some shoes on the rack are soon destined for the yard sale with little wear. Those are usually seasonal items that can only be worn a handful of times because the girls outgrow them before the next season. I’m sad that we don’t always get full use of them, but that’s the nature of living in a part of the country that has seasons. At least I know they will find a good home via my yard sale or donation to the thrift store. Many other shoes on the rack end up being worn so much that they fall apart. That’s what happens after lots and lots of hours of running, playing and normal kid wear and tear. Those shoes may look beat-up and pathetic, but I love that the kids used every single penny that I spent on them. Then there is that one token pair of shoes in the corner that looks like it hasn’t been worn. Not because of the seasons. Not because we outgrew them. Not even because the kids didn’t like them. It is the pair the school requires the kids put in their locker and only touch when they have gym class. That’s the pair of shoes I hate the most.

I understand the need for having a pair of shoes on hand for physical education class. I also can appreciate the fact that those same gym shoes need to be clean-soled to help maintain the integrity of the gym floor. By the time the kids finish the school year, they have outgrown those shoes and barely put any mileage on them.

Plan ahead and grab gym shoes while they are on sale! - #PaylessInsider #SoleStyle

High-end, specialty shoes can run a lot of money. In a time when so many families are struggling to put ONE pair of shoes on their children’s feet, how can we ask them to set aside another pair that are only accessible a few days a week ONLY at school. Our solution? Find shoes that provide the quality needed for the fitness activities they will be participating in then find them at a price puts a little less strain on the budget. The Champion Gusto shoes from Payless ShoeSource fit the requirements and are even better when there is a promotion running!

The best way to get more bang for your back-to-school buck is watch for store sales and promotions and find out if your state offers a “tax-free” day to save even more. Be sure to check the rules for your specific state. As a resident of Iowa, the list shows that only “clothing” is covered. However if you go directly to the state details, you will notice “Clothing” is defined as any article of wearing apparel and typical footwear intended to be worn on or about the human body. Footwear. There you go. If the school is going to make you purchase another pair of shoes, at least think about these opportunities to save.

Take advantage of back to school sales to save some money on necessary items. -

While you’re at it, you might as well pick up some fashion shoes for non-gym, normal wear. My daughter can’t wait to show off her American Eagle ballet flats. They are adorable and can go from casual to dressy depending on what she pairs them with. Purchasing pairs of shoes that can do double-duty is another way to stretch the budget.

Backpacks can be fashionable, functional AND affordable! - #PaylessInsider #SoleStyle

Of course, every student needs something to tote school supplies and homework. This cute American Eagle backpack is going to be put to good use as well. As someone who has a daughter that is a self-proclaimed fashionista, having a stylish backpack is important. As a self-proclaimed cheapskate, I’m thrilled to find something affordable! One thing we plan to do this year is have two different backpacks that we rotate every few weeks. History has proven that notes, missing homework and mounds of other things get lost in the bottom like socks in the dryer. We used this alternate backpack method with Miss K last year when her main backpack was tearing form the weight of all the stuff she had been compiling. Having an additional backpack will help both the girls stay more organized sans the impression that I’m invading their privacy as I search for notes from the school.

With kids outgrowing shoes faster than we can wear them, finding ones that fit into the budget is always the best place to start. Plan ahead to make the most of your back to school dollars. Keep an eye on the Payless ShoeSource social channels (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) to find the latest styles and promotions then take advantage of any local or state tax incentives available. Hopefully it will help you be less stressed when you are reminded the list is more than notebooks, glue and crayons.

What are your tricks for saving money on back-to-school supplies?

16 thoughts on “Back to School Without Breaking the Bank

  1. This is totally awesome information about saving for back to school. I have never heard of tax free day so I will have to look into it and share this with my sisters. Payless shoe store has some great deals for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is honestly my least favorite time of the year because of the expense of back to school shopping. We will have to check out American Eagle for some good buys this year.

  3. I caught a few great sales last week and looking for more bargains. I don’t think I have to get everything right before school starts but the savings are so much better if you buy before mid August. My teen loves American Eagle too so we will definitely be stopping by.

  4. Kids there have to have special sneakers just for phys ed?! I’ve never heard of that before. That’s not right. I don’t know how it would translate with footwear but I do know in many areas if something is required by the school the school can be made accountable for purchasing it.

  5. I think I’m the only one who enjoys buying school clothes or just clothes in general for my boy. He’ll be starting Kindergarten and I look forward to shopping for him as well as buying school excites me!!!

  6. Thank you for sharing this post. I hate to spend money on things that the kids don’t use very often, then end up wasting money because they have outgrown them. Buying at Payless is a smart idea.

  7. I love Payless ShoeSource for my summertime shoes. They got a great selection of fashionable affordable shoes to choose from and I love that they email me coupons and promotions.

  8. I grew up with shoes from Payless. They are affordable and lasted at least 2 years. Helped my mom save money, since budget was really tight growing up.

  9. Tax-free day? have never heard of that. Az must not do it. The back pack your daughter has is the kind mine wants this year. Must be the trend for this year.

  10. We do have a tax free day here in Illinois. I will have to find out if it covers shoes. I love payless shoe store. Love when they have their BOGO sales.

  11. I understand the frustration! My daughter outgrows her gym shoes halfway through school and they still look brand new. I often buy my daughter’s shoes at thrift stores for this reason.

  12. Thanks, We try to shop through out the year when we can. It is expensive. My Granddaughter wears uniforms to school, but we do need to shop when they are on sale. The other accessories break the budget to. It’s just amazing how you can make the register sing when you are shopping for back to school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *