It’s Back-to-School (Giveaway) Time

Around here, many of the schools are already back in session. It seems like they start earlier and earlier every year — right along with the back-to-school sales and promotions, and the request lists from the schools that seem to grow like crazy. If you’ve got kids, you know exactly what I mean.

Back to school time can get expensive, especially if you also pair the required items with new clothes & backpacks. But it’s also a great time to talk about money with your kids. I’ve got a VISA gift card giveaway here that can help you do that. (And if you don’t have kids, you can enter too.)

Teaching kids about money

According to a survey that Women & Co. recently conducted with, “84% of moms feel that their child’s school doesn’t do a good job incorporating financial literacy into classroom activities”. (I guess not everyone had an awesome grade school teacher like mine who turned the entire classroom into a mini-economy.)

That makes it critical for us to incorporate financial literacy into the daily lives of our kids. And we can do that by having them actually participate in some of the financial decisions.

There’s no time like the present to help kids learn how to budget and use money wisely. After all, the sooner you start, the more practice they’ll have with using their money skills. Good money habits can definitely last a lifetime.

To enter the giveaway:

If you’re a parent: talk with your kids and ask them to come up with a $50 back-to-school budget. If they had $50 to spend on school supplies, what would they get? Ask them to number the items on their list in order of importance. You might have them actually look up some of the prices to see how many of the items they would be able to get for their $50. This is a good time to talk about what the “must-have” supplies would be (pencils, paper, eraser) vs what the “nice to have” supplies would be (a new backpack, decorative folders, etc.) Then post back here in the comments before August 21st with the #1 item your kids would buy if it were up to them. One commenter from this group will receive a $50 VISA gift card.

Check out Women & Co. for tips and a weekly newsletter, and follow them on twitter if you’d like to see what they’re up to.Or you can: leave a comment below before August 21st with your best back-to-school savings tip. What’s the best way you know to save money on school supplies, clothing, and all the other expenses that go along with back-to-school time? Even if you’re not a parent, you can reflect back on your own back-to-school days and come up with something. Maybe your mom had a great way of saving money that you’d like to pass on. One commenter from this group will receive a $50 VISA gift card.

And the “fine print”…

Thanks to Citi for providing me with the $50 VISA gift cards for this giveaway. Giveaway is valid in the U.S. only (sorry), is void where prohibited, and ends at midnight Arizona time on August 21, 2012. If you’re in my immediate family you really should know by now that you can’t enter. (But you can still leave a back-to-school savings tip if you like.)

The giveaway winners will be chosen by numbering the entries for each group and then using the Custom Random Number Generator to generate the numbers of the 2 winning entries. If you win and don’t respond to my email or notice in the comments of this post that you’ve won within 7 days of the contest end, I’ll pick a new winner. Not responsible for late or misdirected entries. We have a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and he’s awesome.

Redemption of gift card is governed by gift card terms. If you win and let your child participate in spending the gift card, the child should spend it with parental supervision. (After all, isn’t that the whole point?) Gift cards may not be sold, exchanged, bartered, or transferred. Good luck!



  • Mami2jcn

    As far as back to school clothing, I’ve found the best way to save is by shopping the clearance racks.

    In terms of the school supplies, I’ve been shopping the sales and I took advantage of my state’s tax free weekend.

  • Carson

    Take advantage of sales tax holidays!

  • Alaine

    Shop in advance to get the most out of sales.
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  • petra

    my daughter’s #1 must-have are sturdy notebooks — ones with a plastic (vs paper) cover so they won’t disintegrate after just 1 semester

    her #1 nice-to-have is a selection of good fitting jeans

  • I like buying notebooks and pens and other office supplies around this time of year!

  • Jessie C.

    Take advantage of sale and tax free week to stock up on school supplies. Some stores offer price match so keep weekly circulars to save.

  • anash

    buy only what is on sale, a great way to save when there are so many stores competing for business!

  • I am usually adamantly against shopping at Walmart, but for back to school 1″ binders, that is a great place to get an awesome deal on supplies.

  • Pedro

    After a conversation with my teenager, I learned her most important “must-have” are notebooks (followed by folders, pencils, and pens). Her “nice to have” item is high school spirit wear.

  • Michelle H.

    My daughter said her “must have” is a Trapper Keeper to organize her schoolwork. She had a real problem with organization and losing papers last year so it’s good to see her taking a bit more responsibility for her schoolwork. Her “wish I had” is a new lunch bag. I planned on reusing last year’s model but she’s now deemed it “too babyish” and wants something a bit more grown-up. I will probably cave and buy her one only because I know she’ll “forget” her lunch a whole lot more if she hates her lunch bag.

  • Lizzy

    After talking with my son, his number one must have is a sturdy binder. At his school, he uses one huge binder for all of the subjects. He knows that he needs something that is sturdy and big with lots of pockets and dividers.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  • nataly carbonell

    I always take advantage od deals, discounts and coupons. I also try to re-use things from last year that are still usable for example binders, rulers things like that

  • Harmony B

    I shop clearance and put it away.
    Staples rewards is also a great. I use my ink recycling rewards to buy supplies

  • Laura Jacobson

    #1 on our list was a good fitting backpack to carry all those notebooks and books to and from school! I remember growing up, we never had to carry so many books home at night as they do today. Those poor little backs….so a good fitting backpack is really important to us!
    As for our tip….start early and I try to pick up a item each grocery shopping trip to help spread the cost out. Maybe just a pack of pens or pencils, or a notebook or folder….just something I can cross of the list.

  • Mari

    I buy school supplies when they are on clearance, the year before and save them for the following year. Last year I shopped the clearance aisles in late September, and I was able to buy school supplies at up to 90 percent off everyday prices,

  • And the winners are…
    anash and Pedro!