The days are getting shorter, the summer heat is slowly cooling off, and the first hints of a change in seasons is in the wind. This can only mean one thing: It’s back to school season. For a lot of parents, myself included, this is a very stressful time. It can be hard keeping track of a budget when the kids are in school, be it preschool or college, but I have been looking around online in an attempt to find tips and tricks for saving during the back to school shopping trips and throughout the school year.

I recommend starting your back to school shopping now if possible. It can get hectic if left until the end of August or early September, as many parents rush to the local stores to grab last-minute supplies. Alongside this, it is good to hold onto old school supplies at the end of the year and reuse what you can.

Outside of shopping for the back to school season, some minor things can be done to help save money throughout the year. Packing a lunch at home and sending it with your child instead of sending lunch money for the cafeteria is something that can add up in the long run, and save you a ton of cash. Alongside this, try not to send anything of high value (like a Nintendo 3DS or a smartphone) to school with the children: kids lose things easily.

I found this handy infographic from the resource page at Loan and Go provides some great tips regarding back to school saving, as well as some interesting statistics on the Canadian school system.