Whoever said time flies when you’re having fun was right! I’ve spent the summer enjoying time with my little ones but the back to school season always creeps faster than expected. Back-to-school is a crazy time for kids and especially for parents. I’m here to arm you with some of my favorite back-to-school hacks that are sure to help you survive the season by saving you time and money!

1. Freeze a wet sponge that doubles as an anti-soggy icepack
Instead of using icepacks, which might wet the contents of the lunch box, freeze a wet sponge. The sponge will absorb the liquid and won’t leak in the lunchbox

2. Let your phone do the heavy lifting and help you adjust to complicated new schedules
Change the locked pic on your phone to a written note with your kids’ schedules and pickup/drop-off times for a quick reference at the beginning of the year

3. The app RetailMeNot will help you score discounts at stores
RetailMeNot is a coupon app made for deals and steals! The app lists deals that stores are currently offering. Click the link to check out some of the back-to-school deals they have listed (http://www.retailmenot.com/blog/best-things-to-buy-in-august.html)

4. Keep apples from turning brown
Cut out the core and put the apple back together; wrap a rubber band around the apple and it will still be perfectly fresh for lunch

5. Make reminder bracelets for the kids
Help your child remember to do something during the school day by making a simple yet stylish reminder bracelet. Write the reminder on a strip of colored paper, take some patterned sticky tape and cut a strip to fit their wrist. Tape the note to the non-sticky side of the tape and then wrap it around their wrist as a bracelet, securing with tape.

6. Shop during your state’s tax-free weekend
All those supplies really start to add up! Many states offer tax-free weekends throughout the month of August to help parents like us save money during the back to school season.

7. Eliminate the breakfast mess
Prepare pancake mix for the week by premixing and putting it into freezer bags to store in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use it cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag and squeeze into the pan. Beautiful round pancakes in minutes!

8. 31 crockpot freezer meals for back-to-school
Here is an all-time favorite! If you really want to simplify your life during the busy back-to-school season check out these must try crockpot freezer meals from NewLeaf Wellness. The grocery lists are included! (https://newleafwellness.biz/2015/08/06/31-crockpot-freezer-meals-for-back-to-school/)