It is crazy to writing out money saving strategies for back-to-school shopping and still not know whether my children are going back to school. Let’s just say that it is still important to stay ready for anything so that you do not have to get ready. For many families, back-to-school shopping ranks up there with Christmas shopping as far as budget busters. With that being said, I have put together a list of tips that will help you avoid breaking the bank while shopping for back-to-school items.
1. Start at home.
Due to COVID-19, the physical school environment ended early. Most schools send out a list of supplies that are needed to stock the classroom. Whatever was not used we were able to pick back up. Also, check your children’s back packs. Anything that is still in good condition such as pencils, markers, folders, and the actual book bag, store away. When you finally get the supply list for the up and coming school year, start there. There is no need to go out spending money on things you already have.
According to an article from U.S. News, “Families are expected to spend nearly $700 on school supplies (2019, August 7).” With so many options to choose from, it is easy to get convinced that you got a deal. Therefore it is important to plan and budget in advance.
Back-to-school items can also be purchased over time. Some retailers start to form their back-to-school section around the Fourth of July and offer sales at this time.
3.Sign up for reward program
I always find it helpful to join merchants rewards program. Especially if you do online shopping. Some stores, will give you money back to spend when you spend a certain amount of money in a shopping trip. On top of that, they will let you know in advance when have sales. Tip: Pay attention to the timeframe that you have to use the rewards. Most tell you when to use them and when you will loose them. Most stores will even let you stack deals.
I love to get rebates back also. I’m signed up to Rakuten. Before I shop anywhere I go here first. On top of offering you cash back on your purchase, they also tell you if other deals can be applied to your purchase. If you are not signed up, click the link that I provided. Just by joining and spending $25.00 you will get $10.00.
4. Thrift shop.
You will be surprised at what you could find at a thrift store. Expensive brand names for pennies on the dollar and in great condition if not brand new. If you child has to wear a particular uniform, that you cannot find or that is just too expensive start there.
You could even host a clothing swap between other mothers and parents. I remember one year, I had shopped in advance for my daughter. Before she had the chance to wear the clothes, she had a growth spurt. I created a group on Facebook and asked parents if anyone were interested in clothes or shoes her size. You can resale them for profit, or swap for something they are will to trade.
5. Other ways to save:
- Shop clearance
- Wait until September sales hit
- Shop and compare online
- Wait until you get the list of what they need. (There is nothing like a waste of money on things that is not needed and what won’t be used).
- Check the dollar store. (Most dollar stores even take manufacturers coupons).
You can follow these stores on Twitter, for example:
- Amazon Deals: @amazondeals
- Coupons.com: @Coupons
- Staples: @Staples
- Office Max: @OfficeMax
- TJ Maxx: @tjmaxx
- Marshalls: @marshalls
- Best Buy: @BestBuy
- Target: @Target
- Kohl’s: @Kohls
- RetailMeNot: @RetailMeNot
I hope these money savings tips help you and your family to keep a little more money in your pockets this year. Keep in mind also, that if your child’s learning has went on line now as a result of COVID, avoid shopping at all unless it is essential. Your kids will not be going anywhere. If they do have to go back and there is a delay, in the start date, see if you can manage shopping in October. The sales may not be as good or even available in September because consumer are rushing to buy everything. Typically by October, fall and winter things are being put out.
Woroch, A. (2019, August 7). https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/frugal-back-to-school-shopping-tips