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Your Guide to Back-to-School Shopping without Going Broke

Your Guide to Back-to-School Shopping without Going Broke

Back-to-school shopping can be an exciting time. However, it can also be a burden to your pocketbook. The kids need shoes and clothes. They need the designated supplies on their list, and sometimes those items are rather spendy. They may also opt to bring their lunch instead of utilizing the school lunch system, then you have the added expense of purchasing lunchtime items. If you only have one child to provide for, this should be fairly affordable. However, the more school age children you have, the larger the budget gets. To help you make the most of your budget and avoid going broke, CreditSoup has put together a guide to shopping without going broke.

Take Inventory & Make a List

Begin by tracking down your school's supply list. This can usually be found on the school's website. And in most circumstances, stores such as Target & Walmart usually have print outs of the local school lists within their school supply section. Go through your existing school supplies and take inventory of what is needed and what you already have. This way, you can avoid buying duplicate items.

Preparing for school shopping is also a great time to go through your child's closet. Toss or donate anything that is worn or too small. Make a list of clothing they may need going into the school year such as shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, or even undergarments. From here, create a detailed shopping list of all the necessary supplies, clothes, and accessories you need. Stick to this list to avoid unnecessary purchases.

Create a Budget

Before you start shopping, set a realistic budget based on your financial situation. Identify the essential items you need to purchase and allocate funds accordingly. If you're shopping with the kids, set clear spending limits and explain to them the importance of sticking to the budget. Focus on purchasing the essential items first, such as textbooks, notebooks, and backpacks - you know, the "supplies." Non-essential items can wait or be purchased later when there are more sales.

Compare Prices

Before making a purchase, compare prices from different stores or websites to ensure you're getting the best deal. Keep an eye out for sales, discounts, and deals both online and in physical stores. Many retailers offer back-to-school promotions, so take advantage of them to save money. Look for coupons and promo codes online or in local flyers to further reduce the cost of your purchases.

Utilize student discounts if you can. Many retailers offer student discounts, so don't forget to ask if they have one before making your purchase.

Stay Thrifty & Don't Forget Your Rewards

If you're like my kids, they have a TON of old backpacks & lunch bags from previous years. Check the bag quality. If they are still in good condition, consider using them again. Second-hand thrift stores also have a great variety of gently used shoes & clothes. If your budget is spent from all the supplies, consider purchasing clothes second hand. And, if your kid tends to lose things throughout the year, buy your supplies in bulk.

Some cash-back credit cards will also allow you to earn rewards or get cash back from your back-to-school purchases.

In Summary

Remember, the key to successful back-to-school shopping is planning ahead and being mindful of your spending. Stay disciplined and avoid impulse purchases. Stick to your list and budget to prevent overspending. And don't forget to use your cash-back credit cards. With these tips, you can shop wisely and start the school year without breaking the bank.

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