People are hip to this trick, so you might find the shelves bare at back-to-school time, but it’s worth checking your local thrift store for school supplies. Backpacks, pencil boxes and even paper planners can be found here.
Of course, you can also do clothes shopping if your kids are patient or even excited about hunting for something unique. For fashion-conscious kids, remind them that thrift stores are an excellent place to find a cool vest, pants or sweater that nobody else at school will be wearing. Or if your child finds the thrift store experience overwhelming, consider having them explore while you do the heavy lifting of finding a handful of staple clothing items in their size to try on.