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Published September 11, 2008 10:12 AM

Going Back to School? Go Green To Save Hundreds of Dollars

Parents can save oodles of money by taking an "eco cheap" approach to back-to-school shopping.

Where to start?

* Ignore the huge supplylists that come home in kids' backpacks. Over at the blog Green Talk, "Thrifty is the New Green for Back to School Supplies" reminds parents to check their "voluminous" stashes of pens, pencils, crayons and paper leftover from last year before buying new. SAVINGS:  $25-$50/child

*  Use last year's backpacks and lunch boxes. (Mindful Momma notes in "The Price We Pay for Back 2School Cool that kids do just fine with gear they've used before.) SAVINGS:  $50-$125/child, depending on backpack.

*  Shop yard sales and thrift stores for back-to-school clothes. SAVINGS:  $100 - $250/child, depending on your usual clothes budget.

* Borrow sports equipment and rent musical instruments. Is your daughter trying hockey for the first time? Not sure if your son is a budding violinist or just likes to hear the bow scratch? Borrow skates or rent the violin until you're sure a purchase makes sense.SAVINGS:  $50 - $250.

Total Savings: $225 - $675 per child.

For more great ideas that save money and spare the planet, drop in on the Green Moms Carnival over at SurelyYouNest.

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