Back-to-school has become synonymous with shopping. In terms of family costs, getting supplies for your kids each year is almost expensive as the Holiday season. Here are 5 tips to help you save a few dollars this year:
Make a Supply Sweep
You’ll be surprised at what’s lying around your house in closets and drawers. So, before you start shopping, take stock of what you already have in your home. Go through your regular spots for storing office and school supplies, and round up what’s on hand. Next, make a list of what you still need. Take out your smartphone and snap a picture of your current supplies for visual reference. You should also go through your kids’ closets. Toss worn-out clothes and donate any clothing your kids have outgrown. Be sure to get a receipt for your donation to claim a deduction on your tax return.
Use Apps to Compare Prices
To get the best deals, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on prices at various retailers. There are many apps out there that can help you do the work. Use websites to save money by comparing prices across different stores. Remember to watch your local stores for bargains on school supplies. When mid-summer hits, be sure to check out circular ads in your paper and search online for any discount codes or coupons.
Look for Supplies at Thrift Shops
If you’re looking for school supplies and used clothing, you can’t go wrong with Thrift stores. Make sure to check for special savings on certain days of the week at spots like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You can follow your local thrift shop on Facebook page or check its website periodically. Many secondhand stores now offer online shopping. It also doesn’t hurt to ask your friends and family to look out for items your kids may need, if they happen to frequent thrift stores too. Consignment stores are also a good option. Visit kidsconsignmentsales.com for a national directory of sales.
Stock Up in September
Once the new school year rush is over, many retailers will look to clear out their inventory. In September you will be able to find supplies for cheap prices. Consider buying notebooks, pens, paper and more in bulk during September and stock up on items your kids can use over the next two or three grades.
A good way to acquire supplies and get rid of the back-to-school stuff you don’t need is to coordinate with your family, friends, and neighbors. If you know parents who have school-aged children, see if they have any extra supplies they’d be interested in trading.