The National Retail Federation predicts combined spending for back to school and college is expected to reach $74.9 billion, or $669.28 per family on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5 percent from last year. That’s quite a bit of money for many Oklahoma families, so it’s best to try and make that dollar amount stretch as much as possible.


Here’s a tip from Oklahoma CPA’s on a way to ace the budget:


Make sack lunches.


Making meals at home can be less expensive and often times more nutritious. You can get older kids excited about taking their lunch by getting them in the kitchen and letting their creative juices flow. With younger kids, give them special surprises, like cutting their sandwiches using fancy cookie cutters or include a personalized note, stickers or drawing with their lunch. Also, buying in bulk can save you money. You can make your own snack-size portions using reusable containers.