5 Back-to-School Organizing Tips

If you live with children that attend school, they are either already back in school or about to return.

Here are 5 back-to-school organizing tips to help ease the transition for you and the kids!

 

back to school organizing tips

 

  1. If you haven’t already, begin getting everyone back on a sleep schedule. Have everyone go to bed and get up the same time each day to reset their internal clocks so they won’t be tired those first few weeks. Here are tips to get your family organized in 3 easy steps.
  2. Begin planning their lunches if they will be bringing them to school. Purchase needed supplies such as a thermos, sandwich containers, lunchboxes, utensils, napkins, etc. Sit with them and plan the lunches they would like to take. Create a weekly grocery list based on these items so you will always have them on hand.
  3. Decide on a space in your home for backpacks, coats, shoes and papers from school. If everyone knows where to place their items when they come in, they’ll be less likely to just drop them on the floor.
  4. Think of how you want to store and keep track of papers from school. You could purchase an inexpensive file box and create folders to hold weekly newsletters from the teachers, graded papers, artwork, informational papers from the school and progress reports/report cards. Ideally, you could store a year’s worth of papers for 2 children in one file box. At the end of each marking period you could purge the items from the folders and discard what you don’t need. Here’s a detailed post I wrote about organizing your child’s school papers. There’s also an app called Artkive that allows you to take pictures of your child’s artwork and then create a photo book. We use this app all the time and love it!
  5. Set up a homework station in an area where the child will not be distracted. If they are young and need your help with homework, keep them close by, but keep distractions to a minimum. It’s good to have a container near them that holds all of their needed supplies (pencils, crayons, markers, erasers, pencil sharpener, calculator, etc.) so they don’t need to get up every time they need something.

If you have any additional back-to-school organizing tips to add, I’d love to read them in the comments section below! :)

Never Pay Retail Again!

Now that you have mastered using your coupons at the grocery store, we are going to take it up a notch and go over where you can find and use coupons on items other than groceries.

Always remember that there are coupons available for just about every store you shop in. You will NEVER pay retail prices again after reading this post.

never pay retail

Here are some steps to help you on your path to saving at retail stores:

  • Visit your favorite restaurant and store’s website and join their e-mail list. They will begin sending you coupons almost immediately. Most will send you a coupon just for signing up. **You may want to create another e-mail account just for coupons, because there will be many!
  • Visit the restaurant and store’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts because they will give special coupons to their followers. These coupons are in addition to the ones you will receive in your e-mail.
  • When shopping online, if you don’t already have a coupon, look up the store name at sites like: Retail Me Not, Coupon Cabin, Coupon Craze, and Dealio. These sites will give you coupon codes to enter in your shopping cart when you are ready to check out.
  • You can also Google the restaurant or store name and “coupon”. Example: “Macy’s coupon”
  • Download sites like GeoQpons and Coupons to your mobile phone. You can use these coupons whenever you are out shopping or eating out. Just pull the coupon up on your phone and show it to the cashier/server. Instant savings!
  • Join sites like Ebates and Shop At Home that will give you coupon codes and pay you cash back if you start your purchase online through their site. Whenever you complete a purchase, your account will be credited with the cash back amount and a check will be mailed to you when your balance reaches a certain limit.
  • Follow blogs like Hip2Save, Totally Target, Coupon Divas, and Penny Pinchin’ Mom to get lots of money-saving tips and freebies. There are many other blogs out there to follow as well.  Just Google “money-saving blogs”.
  • Check the ValPak envelopes for coupons to stores in your area.
  • Sign up for Groupon and Eversave. These sites will send e-mail discounts (50-90% off!) for events and services in your area. They are both free to join and Eversave will give you a $5 credit  just for signing up.

I am sure that this is enough information to get you started on your path to saving tons of money on everything you buy… not just groceries. But just in case you’re itching for more, read my previous posts about how to save BIG money at Target and  the secret to getting free items at CVS. :)

Now, get out there and NEVER pay retail again!

 

Use Your Hobby to Make Money

If you currently have a hobby that you are passionate about, there are ways you can use your hobby to make money.

 

use your hobby to make money

 

Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!

  • First, think about where you see your business going. Ask yourself questions like, “How much money do I want to make?” and “Where do I see this business in 1 year and 5 years?” Also, be sure to think about how much time you have to invest in your new business. Writing up a business plan is a great way to help you answer these questions.
  • Next, you’ll want to look around and check out others that are doing the same thing you want to do. Watch them to learn what makes them successful. Research online, attend shows and join forums to get insight into the business you want to start.
  • Do lots of research to determine how much you are going to charge for your goods or service. Take into account how much time it takes to get the job done to make sure it is worth your time.
  • When starting your business, keep operating costs as low as possible. Only buy supplies when you need to use them rather than just buying them to have around. Consider working extra hours to save up start-up costs instead of taking out a loan.
  • Identify different places to sell your product-try online stores, outdoor markets, stores and fairs.
  • The best way to increase exposure to your business is to market yourself. Business cards, logos, websites and blogs are ways to help you expand. Always be ready to talk about your business. If you make something, wear it or have it with you to spark a conversation. When someone comments on the item, thank them and give them one of your cards. If you sell a service, find unique ways to showcase your business.
  • Once you are ready to open shop, be sure to register your business with the county or state agency. If you earn more than $400 per year you will have to pay taxes on your income, so be sure to keep accurate records. Check out The U.S. Small Business Administration for free advice on starting a business.

Do you currently own a business? If so, was it difficult to get started? Do you have any advice for those who may want to use their hobby to make money?  Leave comments in the section below!