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Best Hacks to Save Money and Reduce Back to School Stress


One thousand parents were asked for their best hacks to save money and reduce stress for back to school. Here's what they said; back to school season can be just as stressful for parents as it is for some students. While new technology might be to blame for some of the stress - like kids playing Fortnite when they should be doing homework - it can also provide fantastic fixes for some of our biggest daily dilemmas. Case in point: more than 1,000 parents were asked on Facebook for their best back to school tech-life hacks. Here's what they said.

Buy new tech for less 
Many of the most desirable tech gadgets on the market come with a $1,000 (or more) price tag. But there are a handful of sites that deliver the biggest and best discounts right to your eyeballs, with very little work on your part.

Go old-school to save money on kids' phones
There's also no need to fork out several hundred dollars on a smartphone for most pre-teens and teens when a $60 feature phone will do. A handful of parents said they're opting for basic handsets like the colorful 3G Nokia 3310 to let kids call, text, take photos, and use a few basic apps. Parents also gave it high marks for a nearly unbreakable body, all-day battery life, quick charging time, and 27-days of standby time.

Don't buy when you can borrow
A father on Facebook wrote that one of his go-to hacks is an app called Epic that gives you instant access to more than 25,000 books, audiobooks, and DIY videos for ages 12 and under. The cost for full digital access is just under eight dollars a month and you can try it for free for 30 days.

Earn college credits at home
The ever-rising cost of college came up several times in parents' top hacks. A typically college course can set you back over $2,000 at a public college, and well over $4,000 at a private institution. One way to save is to take as many college courses as you can online and then transfer them. According to, it offers around 150 popular college courses that most students have to take anyway, but at roughly 1/10th of the normal cost. The credit is transferable to more than 1,500 top colleges and universities.

Alexa to the rescue
Several parents also mention smart-home gadgets. "I hate to say it," wrote Tim Kicmol on Facebook, "but, we have 3 [Amazon Echo] Alexas and 2 Amazon cameras. We use the [Echo] Alexa as an intercom system to talk to the three boys from our bedroom. When we are really tired we instruct Alexa to read a story to them. The cameras are used to confirm the boys are staying in their rooms at night."