Four Resources You Need to Know About for Back-to-School 2022
Everyone is talking about the price of gas these days. But as the parents of three teens, inflation is hitting our refrigerator the hardest. Factor in the absolutely bonkers price of our summer electricity bill – keeping our house at 73 degrees, it’s still $10 a day – and things are getting tight. Thankfully, our kids’ schools won’t be requiring uniforms this year and they don’t need a whole lot of special school supplies since the advent of chromebooks. But we still need to replace shoes, and it would be nice to send them all back to school in some clothing they feel good in. And let’s face it – anything multiplied by three can get spendy fast.
The good news is that there are lots of great resources to help families out. To help you get ready for the school year, here are a few things you need to know about right now.
1. Check your Pandemic EBT card for grocery money.
Feeding kids is expensive. If you received pandemic EBT for your student during the last couple of years, check your card. In addition to the funds that were added at the beginning of the summer, the EBT cards have recently been updated, with many parents reporting as much as $300 per student in grocery money. If you have lost your kids’ P-EBT cards or you aren’t sure if your students are eligible, it’s worthwhile to find out. Get more information at the Oklahoma P-EBT Assistance site.
2. Find out if your tribe offers back-to-school assistance.
If your kids are members of an Indigenous American tribe, check with their tribe’s website to find out if there are any resources available. Cherokee Nation is offering clothing assistance to tribal citizens under the age of 18. To sign your kids up, log on to the Gadugi portal.
3. Check out the many free back-to-school resources.
Haircuts, backpacks, and school uniforms can add up quickly. There are quite a few free backpack and school clothing drives around town, and you can learn about all of them here on the TulsaKids site!
If you have been feeling the pinch at the grocery store lately and you’re not sure how you will pay for school clothes this year, don’t make the mistake of thinking these resources are for other, needier families. All kids deserve to feel confident and ready at the beginning of the school year.
4. Don’t forget about your local Buy Nothing Group.
I’ve written about my love for Buy Nothing culture a few times on my blog because it’s honestly one of the best resources around. If it’s a new concept to you and you consider yourself a community-minded parent, it’s time to get on board. The Buy Nothing Project is a community-building network where folks are able to connect with others in their area to share things from their own bounty and ask for things they want or need. While you’re more than welcome to ask for something based on need, it’s actually a gift economy, meaning you’re welcome to ask for just about anything for any reason as long as you’re actively participating as a giver from time to time. If you wake up craving a glass of chocolate milk, you can ask folks in your group and if folks have a chocolate milk to give you, godspeed.
Participating in my local Buy Nothing Group has been a great way to meet folks in my area and form a community network. It’s also helped me to declutter, which is something I have struggled with in the past. And when it’s time for back-to-school, we are able to share the things the kids have outgrown with other families in the area and get a few things we need at the same time. Thanks in part to the Buy Nothing community, my kids have pretty consistently worn nice, name brand clothing from the time they were little.
What are you doing to deal with the inflation crunch? Let me know in the comments, and have a lovely week in your financially stressed little nebula!