It’s a new school year and with it comes new routines and activities for you and your kids. But before your kids go off to learn, you’ll need to get them ready for the classroom. From school supplies, to clothes, to food for packing lunches, you have a lot of shopping to do. Here are five suggestions to help you save money on back-to-school shopping:
Make a Budget
To save on supplies, you need to get organized. That means making a budget. The first step is to take a look and see what you already have before you go to a store. When you find useful items like pens, pencils, notebooks, backpacks, folders, crayons, and other essentials, jot them down. Make sure to go through closets and dressers to determine what clothes still fit your kids and what they might need. Once you’ve made a list of what you have, you can create a back-to-school supply list for what to buy. Figure out how much you can spend on back-to-school items and stick to that amount. Making a budget will not only save you money, it will help keep you focused when you’re at the store.
Subscribe to Store Lists for Deals
Back-to-school is the perfect time to sign up for social media sales alerts from stores. This time of year, many shops will be posting sales alerts and flash sales. If you sign up to receive these alerts, stores may even give you bonus coupons for getting on their subscribe lists. Once you’ve finished your shopping, just unsubscribe so you don’t receive a deluge of promotions when you don’t need them. Make sure to do some comparison shopping online, and check flyers and store apps for deals at brick-and-mortar stores. You should also take advantage of price matching. Compare prices on school essentials with different retailers. If you find better deals online, show the discounted price to a local store and they may match the price. It may take a little work to find the best deals, but making the time to research can help you save a bundle.
Save Money on Back-to-School Shopping by Purchasing Supplies in Bulk
Save money and buy frequently used items in bulk at stores like Sam’s Club and Costco. Snack items like granola bars, chips and cookies, as well as lunch bags and Ziploc bags are perfect bulk items because they will be used year-round. Drinks, paper, pens, notebooks, and other office supplies are items you can consider getting in large, discounted quantities too.
Visit Consignment Shops and Thrift Stores
To save on clothing, visit your local thrift shops. Kids grow quickly and don’t wear clothes out before they move on to larger sizes. You can typically find used clothes in great shape at the Salvation Army or other thrift shops, especially jeans and jackets, which are made from material built to last. Online sites like Craigslist are worth monitoring too because families will look to sell kids’ clothes for low prices around the time the new school year begins.
Shop Without Your Kids
If you want to shop quickly and stay laser-focused on your budget, leave young children at home when you shop. You’ll be able to concentrate on obtaining the essential items on your list without distractions, and you won’t have to worry about your kids asking for expensive clothes or other items that you can’t afford. When your kids get older and start to understand the value of money, it’s a good idea to take them with you on some shopping trips to teach them about budgeting.
Whether shopping for your little one or college-bound kid, you want to get the best bang for your buck. The costs can quickly add-up, so use some of these steps to help you save money on back-to-school shopping.