Although it seems like summer just started, back to school commercials are playing, school supply lists are being sent in the mail, and school items are making their way back to store shelves. Despite the denial of summer ending, it’s time to start thinking about backpacks, pencils, folders, and back-to-school shopping.
If you and your wallet dread back-to-school shopping just as much as your children do, check out these tips.
1) Set a Spending Limit
Shopping for school supplies and clothes can be stressful, especially when you walk into a store and don’t know what your child needs or how much it is going to cost you. Having a spending limit not only keeps you from purchasing unnecessary items, but it also stops your stress-o-meter from boiling over. With that being said, it is also a good idea to put your money where it matters most. Spend more on necessities, such as a durable backpack, tennis shoes, and a coat, and spend less on supplies such as pencils, erasers, folders, etc.
2) Shop at Home, Thrift Stores, and Garage sales
A new school year shouldn’t automatically mean purchasing new school items. Before you hit the stores, shop around in your own house! Have your kids clean out their backpacks from the previous year (if they haven’t already) and set up a mini-store in your very own home. Once you have your store set up, give your kids a basket and let them shop away. Not only will this save you money, but the kids will love being able to “shop” on their own! Once the shopping spree is finished, drive to some thrift stores and stop by garage sales, both are great places to find gently used clothes, sports equipment, and instruments.
3) Hunt for Coupons
If your spending limit is tight and you’re trying to think of even more ways to save, consider hunting for coupons. It might not seem like a big deal but saving even $1.00 on pencils is a bargain! Also, don’t limit yourself to one store. Sales vary from store to store, therefore, shopping around and comparing store prices will ensure that you find the best deals while saving as much money as possible.
4) Buy throughout the Year
Just because school starts in the fall doesn’t mean shopping needs to wait until then. Purchasing items throughout the summer or whenever they’re on sale is a great way to check items off your list. Time is of the essence and buying items throughout the year will keep you from devoting a whole summer day to back-to-school shopping.
5) Join a Cash Back Rewards Program
When you sign up for a cash back rewards program, you’re able to receive a certain percentage of money back, dependent on the amount of reward points earned or the total amount of your purchase. Whether it’s a clothing store or a supply store, there is nothing better than shopping at a store you love and getting money back!
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