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Back To School shopping for the younger set

Last week, Eden wrote a great post about Back To School (BTS) shopping for high school students.

I can’t believe we’re here again. BTS shopping is in full swing, in fact, most people are already done. We’re only partway done, which annoys me because shopping in Ottawa can be very challenging at times. The things on the Need to Buy list can be tough to find if we’ve left it too long; things like soccer shoes, rain boots, and French/English dictionaries (especially if our school board demands we need to buy a particular one).

BTS shopping stuff ain’t cheap. I know someone who has two young kids in after-school care. Even though their after-school program is in the same building, they are required to supply their kids with two pairs of indoor sneakers; one for the classroom, one for the after-school room.

Until now my kids have been growing so fast that the BTS season was our opportunity to go out and buy all new clothes for fall and winter. Thankfully, their growth has slowed down a little over the summer and many of their clothes still fit (which is good because my wallet gets a break, and so do I).

This year I decided that we had to pay more attention to our spending and not go overboard. We found some great deals on pens and pencils at Staples, snagged a sale at the Bay, and used e-coupons from Old Navy to help our dollar stretch a little further. The next place we’re going to go is Value Village. (Next week I’ll let you know if we found anything there. We may have already left it too late!) I know some people who do all of their BTS shopping secondhand. The kids might not love it, but I think it’s a great idea. It might take some work to shop for kids clothing secondhand, but there definitely some great deals to be found.

What about you? How do you save money during Back to School season?


Mother of two imps and wife of one. Writer, photographer, pro blogger, adventure-seeker, Ottawaholic, social media evangelist and lover of STUFF. Also known as @missfish on Twitter.

6 Responses to “Back To School shopping for the younger set”

[…] My latest post at the UsedEverywhere blog is about Back To School. Gah. It’s so expensive. How do you save money? Your tips are welcome (and needed)! […]


Stacey K

Find a quality consignment store. The selection and quality tends to be better than the thrift stores.



We’re lucky (I guess?) to have three kids, so we can buy in bulk. A big pack of erasers is less per-item than buying singletons. I also buy big packs of things like highlighters and post-it notes – they only need one of each, but then I put them away for next year. One less thing on the list!

(Now if only I could find them.)



Technically it isn’t back to school for me as V is just entering JK, but I’ve gotten a load of next-sized clothes from one of the local freecycle networks, I then hit up VV on their 50% off day on Sunday and Monday and I finished off at Zellers for the one or two items I couldn’t find (clothing-wise).
I’m still very lucky in that even though she may pine for the Dora or Disney (ugh) I’m able to steer her away from them. I’m sure the day will come too soon where she will *need* a particular brand, I just haven’t hit it yet.
As for the school supplies (which were totally voluntary) I’m planning on raiding her craft supply for most, and getting the pencils from GT/dollarama etc.
Lunch supplies are the final bit for me to complete, and I’m still searching for a great bento/litterless system for her.


[…] We’ve been talking a lot of back to school on the UsedBlog, and rightfully so. It’s kind of a big deal, after all! I chatted about high school and university preparations while Andrea gave some perspective on the countdown from the younger set side. […]



Thanks for writing this post. People who’d like to help the less fortunate, can also go to Goodwill for some back-to-school shopping.


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