11 Incredible Back-To-School Hacks to Save Time and Money

back to school hacks

Every mom needs some kind of back-to-school survival kit to survive those first few weeks of school. Here’s 11 incredible back-to-school hacks to save time, money and make your life easier as mom! Be sure you relax, take it one day at a time and enjoy your kids. They are only young once! I’ll even share my tips on how to use PayPal and Venmo on back-to-school savings and giving!

1. Practice Morning Routine

Most kids like to sleep in during summer break so it’s a great idea to start getting them in the routine of waking up on school time a week or so before school is back in session. I’m pretty lucky because my son is an early bird. He’s up to help with outdoor chores by 6:30 every morning. He had a busy weekend of baseball try outs recently and slept in until almost 8 the other morning. He was so mad when he woke up and said the day is completely wasted! Haha!

Don’t forget that first day of school photo! If you take that school photo a few days or weeks after school starts I’m pretty sure no one will never know…

back to school hacks

2. Organize Snacks and School Lunch

My son’s school actually has pretty good lunches so he normally eats them but he does get to take a healthy snack every day. Before the week starts try to organize all snacks and/or lunch items. I like to use my reusable bags instead of plastic bags. You can divide these up and place in the fridge or pantry so they are ready for easy and quick grabbing every morning before school.

We have two apple trees so in the fall my son gets a lot of apple snacks. An easy hack to have apples cut but keep from turning brown: Cut the apples with a knife or apple corer and cut around the core, put the apple back together and wrap a rubber band around the apple. Apples will stay fresh longer and be reading for snacking or lunch time. No kid likes a brown apple! If your kid doesn’t like the skin then they are too picky! My son would say you get what you get and don’t throw a fit!

back to school hacks

3. Pencil Pouch or Box

Keep pencils and pens in a pouch or box. They can leave these at school or in their backpack. It’s a great way to keep pens and pencils organized so your child doesn’t need more within a few months. We got a cute customized one off Etsy a few years ago that my son still uses.

custom pencil box

4. Keep Water Bottles Cold

My son takes a water bottle every day to school. Place water bottles in the freezer half full of water. Each morning grab one and fill the remaining way with water so they’ll be cold throughout the day.

5. Organize Papers

Every school year there’s lots of papers to sign, send back and keep. Start the year off right with a system to organize papers. You can either using an old school filing system or scan and save to your computer. That being said, be sure you go through your child’s backpack every night and send forms back the next day. No child wants to be the one that hasn’t brought back their forms.

6. Back to School Night

My son’s school has a back to school night every year a day or two before school starts. The PTO serves supper and the kids get to see their friends. It’s a great time to take in school supplies and meet the teachers.

back to school hacks

7. DIY Ice Packs

I always seem to have ice packs for school lunches come up missing. Grab several kitchen sponges from the Dollar Store, soak in water, place in a baggy and freeze for cheap and effective ice packs. It works!

8. Donate or Sell

Donate or sell those clothes from last school year. It’s a great time to clean out the closets and make way for clothes for the new season. If you sell them you can make some extra cash to spend on new clothes and school supplies. Or, if you are on a time crunch like I always am, donate them to a child in need or a donation center.

Or, donate to YMCA through the PayPal Giving Fund.

PayPal Giving Fund

9. Save

If you have a tax-free weekend like our state does it’s a great time to shop and save. A few have already passed but most states have their tax-free weekend the first weekend in August. Besides school supplies, you can usually save on clothing and computers.

Get Ahead of the Class with PayPal and take advantage of PayPal’s exclusive offers with select retailers that can make your Back to School shopping even more affordable. Visit https://paypal.com/backtoschool to see the best ways to save money!

With PayPal you can shop deals that make the grade and get all the stuff you need before you hit the books this year! I can save money off my purchase and even get free shipping with PayPal.

With PayPal One Touch, there is no need for Back-to-School shoppers to type in credit card information or re-enter usernames and passwords on every app or website where they pay with PayPal. This makes it so incredibly handy and fast for us when shopping. Consumers log in and are given the choice to opt-in to “stay logged in” for the same device and browser combo, across eligible PayPal merchants.

When you shop with PayPal Credit for Back-to-School, you can break your payments up over time using Easy Payments with PayPal Credit, or receive more time to pay with special financing offers like this one: No Payments + No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more. This is a great way to spread out those back-to-school costs throughout the year!

10. Give to Charity

Since you’re already spending for back-to-school shopping, why not support your favorite charity? PayPal and Venmo make this so easy!

PayPal and Venmo make it convenient and easy to get ready for back-to-school while supporting your favorite causes at the same time with the PayPal Giving Fund using the in-app donation feature. Download the PayPal or Venmo app today for back-to-school today!

PayPal Giving Fund

This back-to-school season PayPal is partnering with select charities dedicated to providing access to education and extracurricular enrichment to children. PayPal Giving Fund will give 100% of proceeds selected partnering charity organizations, such as:

I am a big supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and animal charities. I am happy to know I can find and support these through PayPal. PayPal and Venmo are also great ways to send money to friends and family.

PayPal Giving Fund

Venmo is a free digital wallet that lets you make and share payments with friends. You can easily split the bill, cab fare, or much more. This Back to School season, use Venmo when splitting costs for college like rent, dorm room décor and even groceries. Venmo makes it easy to pay or split bills using many different payment sources, including a bank account, debit cards or credit cards, with many transactions being completely free.

11. Be a Bad Mom

Be a bad mom a few times during the school year. Call a sitter and enjoy yourself! You need some time alone or with hubby and without the kids to not freak out with all those school year demands! I suggest grabbing a bottle of wine (or two) and watching Bad Moms with your girlfriends!

What’s your favorite back-to-school hack? Comment below and share one with us!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Melanie Kampman

Melanie Kampman is a web designer, developer and owner of Giveaway Bandit and Farm News for Kids. She lives in Northwest Missouri on a large family farm with her husband and eight year old son, the Giveaway Bandit. They raise cattle with a variety of pets including horses, chickens, ducks, and a slew of cats. By Melanie Kampman If you are interested in writing a sponsored post on Giveaway Bandit please email me at melanie (at) giveawaybandit (dot) com.

  • Natalie

    These are great tips! I like to freeze water bottles as well to keep them cold.

  • Debra Holloway

    I love helpful hints. I especially love the one on apples. School tips are especially helpful.

  • geriheartnsoulcooking

    Love all the helpful hints, the Apple one is awesome. The giving to charity is great, teaches kids how to give to others.

  • tpoage

    Thanks for sharing this and thanks about the information on donating last years clothes.

  • clojo9372

    These are great tips! Back to School is hard on a lot of parents (Mine included, way back when) so having tips to save as much money as possible really is essential. 🙂

  • Jodi Hunter

    I love this tips, thanks so much.

  • Rosie

    These are great ideas, and make it a little less stressful and a little more fun for everyone!

  • Linda Church


  • June S.

    ( Incredible Back-To-School Hacks to Save Time and Money) With time being a major factor in the mornings during back to school time, these are all great to know-

  • Linda Bradshaw

    The apple trick is very interesting. I am not sure why I did not think about it.

  • All very great tips. Very helpful now that back to school is upon us. Thank you. 🙂

  • Marcos Batac

    Thanks for giveaway. More wordwide pls

  • Susan Smith

    We have tax free weekend here and I always buy our school supplies then. I also buy extra supplies and donate them to the school.

  • denise low

    Our children are grown, but we are now watching our grandchildren getting ready for school.

  • Rachel Beltz

    Okay that apple trick has me in awe. Genius! I have no hacks sadly hah!

  • Lisa Ogle

    I no longer have children in school, just today I was watching my niece getting ready for back to school; memories… love the apple trick!

  • Lauryn R

    These are great back-to-school tricks! I just got an apple slicer and still get excited about how much easier it makes things for me! I love your rubber band idea, do you store in the refrigerator?

  • Joyce McDaniel

    Great tricks for my grandkids going back to school. I have an apple slicer and love it.

  • HellsBelle

    Thanks so much for these awesome back to school tips!

  • benedicte eunice


  • I would use some of these great tips when my granddaughter comes to visit. I love the water bottle tip. Unfortunately, I don’t have any back to school hacks.

  • Erica Weaver

    great tips i am always looking for new ideas for time and money saving

  • Lee Kaplan

    Thank you so much! We just got custody of his 13 year old daughter. This is all new for me. I am constantly stopping parents in stores, who I think may have middle school kids, to pick their brains.
    My tip? I sprinkle lemon/lime soda on cut apple pieces and put in a Baggie. She doesn’t eat the peel, and can put them back in the bag. Love the sponge ice block tip. And the water bottle one. Again, thank you!

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