Back to School for Mommy Too

Is it seriously almost that time already?! I can’t even believe my kids go back to school on August 12th! I have a bone to pick with whoever is setting up the schedules… we haven’t even had summer weather yet! But either way, I’m not far behind. My semester begins August 26th so I’m getting a head start on all our back to school shopping and I’d like to share my favorite finds with you. I am using affiliate links when possible, but this in no way influences my opinions or thoughts. 🙂

Back to school tips for parents that are students too

Back to School – For Me Too!

Save the Most Money:

Step 1: Shop Online

Sign up for these: I do almost all our shopping online. With reward programs that offer cash back like Mr. Rebates, Ebates and Big Crumbs, plus racking up more points on my credit cards, I can’t see the benefit of getting out of my PJ’s and having to actually go to a store. Another great option is shopping through Upromise. I have the toolbar installed in my web browser so I know when cash back is offered all the time. With Upromise, all your cash back is saved for college. You can even designate how to split it between kids! This is what mine looks like right now:After you’ve created accounts with all the sites mentioned above, consult evreward.com before you shop. Every time. Simply enter your desired shopping destination and it will show you which reward site has the best offer.

Sign up for Amazon Student: This is freaking awesome. All you need is your school email account. With Amazon Student you get the benefits of Amazon Prime (which includes free 2 day shipping) FREE for 6 months! Then, after those 6 months, you can join Prime for 50% off! This is just fantastic when buying your textbooks…

About those textbooks… I almost always buy mine through Amazon. I have found that I save around $300 each semester this way. Our campus bookstore has yet to beat Amazon’s prices and with their buy back options, it’s really a win-win. I keep a lot of my texts for future reference, but the ones I won’t need I simply sell them back to Amazon with ONE CLICK!

Back to school clothes: There’s just something so great about having a fresh start. You’ve got new teachers, new supplies, now you just need to look your best. This goes for adults and the kids. When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you are more focused, positive and ready to learn. Looking great doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. Zulily is my new favorite for the whole family. I can get a Jessica Simpson jacket that typically costs over $220, for $50 for me, a sweet Oakley polo for Adam for $40 (originally $75) and an adorable dress for Ches for $26 (originally $62)! (These are all pictured below.) They also have cool back to school stuff like brand name shoes, Scholastic supplies, school uniforms and more that change everyday!

Favorite Zulily picks for back to school

Adult students: You should probably have a laptop. I have gone 3 years now without one and am at my wits end. I could be so much more productive if I was able to knock out some homework or a blog post on the go. Sitting at Adam’s Taekwondo practice, or Chesney’s gymnastics class are prefect opportunities to get some stuff done. Even on campus, when I’m stuck with a couple hours between classes, there is not always a computer open in the lab. This is crazy frustrating!

This PC girl is buying a MacBook Air! I can't even believe it myself.

Now, I am a PC girl… I built my badas$ desktop a couple years ago and it’s like my baby. However, when it comes to tablets and laptops, I really don’t think Apple can be beat. I am actually buying a MacBook Air this week!!! I’m so excited I can’t even stand it!

Step 2: Organization

When you’re an adult student with work and kids on top of your heavy class load, organization is absolutely key. These are some of my favorite little things that help me stay on track:

Post It Tabs: I use these simple little things everywhere! I label each chapter in my textbooks and do the same for my notes. It makes studying so much easier being able to flip around with ease. For just a couple bucks, they are pretty sweet and I reuse them numerous times before they lose their stickiness.

I use these everywhere! Perfect for back to school

Binders: I put almost everything in binders. Dividers with pockets are the best but I always end up over stuffing them. So these expandable ones are pretty sweet.

My Favorite iPad/iPhone Apps

30/30 – This is the best app EVER for time management! And it’s FREE! Available for iPhone and iPad.

Note Moka Pro – It’s just $4.99 and you can upload all the instructor’s notes (almost all mine use PowerPoint) and then take your own notes directly on the slides. I have been using this on my iPad for the last 3 years and it’s simply AMAZING.

DownCount – I paid 99 cents for this and it’s super simple but totally worth it. You create your own count down timers and I love using it for motivation. I use this for school projects, fitness goals and to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Available for iPhone and iPad.

PiggyBot – This one has my kids so inspired to get their chores and homework done it’s like a miracle. It’s a FREE allowance app that reminds parents to disperse funds into 3 different areas: to spend, to save and to share. The kids can then create savings goals and earn badges when they’ve achieved them.

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30 Comments

  1. Those are great tips for going back to school! Thankfully we are getting a break from school for us adults. the husband just spent the last 3 years finishing his degree. I’m taking a break with him. Maybe in a year or two I will go back and finish; but for now..I seriously need the mental break too. lol.

  2. Oh my goodness, you are getting a macbook air? How cool. I just got a Dell laptop and love it… I can’t believe school is starting soon. This is the first year two of my three will be in Elementary School and I am kind of freaking out… HA! Not only emotionally, but the school supplies list just doubled. HA! Thanks for the tips

  3. I am going to try and do some online shopping this month for back to school. I do a lot of online shopping for holiday gifts but never have for BTS time. We always rush to the mall and other various department stores near the last minute. I love my MacBook Air (I’m using it now) and I can’t wait to try out PiggyBot.

  4. I can not believe you guys start school so soon. When does the school year end? Our last day was June 26 and we go back first Monday in September.

  5. These are great tips! Back to school time can be so expensive so anything you can do to save money is a huge plus. Thanks for this info!

  6. I don’t have any “back to school” aged kiddos, but these are great tips to remember! I find that shopping online really can save a ton of money!

  7. I love my Macbook. You will love it too. We start school in a week and half. I am looking forward to going back to my classroom.

  8. This is a great list! I love the piggybot idea! I hadn’t heard of that before now.

  9. I love Amazon but I have never heard of Amazon student before. I wonder if they sell any of the homeschool books I need.

  10. Shopping online has helped my daughter and her husband so much in college. They got some of their books for less than half what it would have been in the bookstore.

  11. There are so many great tips here, I don’t know where to begin. The apps you described sound awesome. I need to check out Piggy Bot. What does 30/30 do? It might be good for my middle school students!

  12. Wow lot of life changes for you. Congrats on the Mac and for being so organized. I admire that. Hard to believe how fast this summer went. I love your money saving tips and how you put that practice to practice in your own life as well as saving others. I am definitely checking out these app’s and again ..Best of Luck on your upcoming school year too 🙂

  13. Those are awesome tips, and the PiggyBot is an app every parent needs! We do allowance randomly, but will be more reimented once our daughter (2) understands better. I think saving is important, as well as teaching budgeting- but also hard to have ANOTHER thing to keep track of! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Can I just say that I so admire how together you are? I’m not even remotely organized like you are. I need to do everything you’re doing!

  15. Great tips!!! I love doing shopping online and use rebate programs often year round shopping. Love your organization tips!!

  16. What a great list of tips. I am all about free App and I want to check out the 30/30, once I have 2 kids doing homework and activities, I will need all the time management help I can get.

  17. These are such great tips. Buying my books online saved me a ton of money when I was going to school!

  18. I love Amazon Student. and I have rented 2 textbooks from Amazon and was thrilled.

  19. I’m doing so good this year! My girl only need actual school supplies and then I am done! Whohoo!!

  20. Great post, my head is buzzing with back to school already, even though mine don’t go back until the first week in Sept. Wow, yours go so early!!

  21. The tips are great! I don’t even want to think about doing back to school shopping yet…. that just means summer is that close to an end! I will have to remember these tips to help save extra money!

  22. So many great tips here. I need to start shopping for back to school. Hard to believe it’s already time!

  23. Great tips – thank you! It seems like summer just started and we’re already getting them ready for school again!

  24. You guys start so soon, we are still getting into summer. These are great ideas!

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