You’ve gotten their classroom, teacher and bus assignments, strategized your new family schedules for the school year and snapped that commemorative first day photo.
Maybe the first day of school was bittersweet as you watched your little one find her first seat on the big kid bus—and your even bigger kid refused your goodbye kiss. Perhaps you were the mom doing a (secret) cheer that summer has wrapped, knowing you could return to at least a few moments of morning silence.
Though the first day of school signifies the official end of summer for all parents, it also marks a new beginning: Of accomplishments, challenges, memories ... and expenses.
But that last one doesn't have to overwhelm you. Here, nine real parents share their secrets to to keeping back-to-school season under budget.
To see the slides in one long list, click into the slide show and select "list view."