Save on Back to School Shopping
It's August. Although the kids are still body surfing at the beach and diving into backyard pools, it's also time to prepare them for the coming school year. Shopping for supplies provides a wonderful opportunity to:
Follow the tips below to make the most of your back to school spending plan and ensure your child has everything they need to start the year off right.
Talk with teachers.
Ask teachers what supplies will be available in the classroom (e.g., pencil sharpeners, construction paper). You may not have to purchase those items.
If the recommended supply list is too extensive or it compromises your budget, teachers may help you determine which items can be purchased later or not at all.
Ask the school for meal plan details and pricing. It may be more nutritious and affordable to "brown bag" it.
Make a list.
A list will help you:
Search through store fliers, store websites and social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) to find the best deals. Add store names, sales dates and other details to your list.
Once you know where you want to shop, plan your route to save gas and time.
Involve your child.
For non-essentials that may be beyond the budget, talk with your child about using their own money. Discuss how their purchase will impact their savings and ability to buy other items on their wish list.
Shop at home. Any supplies that are in good shape can be used again. Recycle!
Your child can help. Make a game of gathering supplies. If you have notebooks or binders in working order, have fun hiding last year's marks and scratches with do-it-yourself decorating projects.
Search for free supplies.
Check thrift and consignment stores.
Receive cash for your child's slightly used clothes to help pay for school supplies.
Take advantage of sales.
Search online. You may find deals that aren't available in-store.
Shop "tax-free" holidays.
Buy in bulk.
Another option...share the supplies, and costs, with other parents for even greater savings.