That’s right. I said it…Those three dreaded words, back-to-school. I understand it’s only mid-July, but I am also aware that second to Christmas, back-to-school is the next largest shopping season of the year. That being said, it can be just as easy to let your back-to-school budget get out of control as it can be to go overboard when shopping for Christmas. While we don’t have anyone heading back-to-school this year, I have years of back-to-school shopping under my belt as a child with my mom – she taught me the majority of my frugal shopping tactics. So, if you want to send your kids back-to-school in style (or at least with everything they need), check out these tips for how to save money on back-to-school shopping.
Tips for Saving Money on Back-to-School Shopping
Back-to-school shopping is an anxiety-inducing experience for everyone. No one really enjoys accepting the thought that the summer is coming to an end and it’s almost time to head back to the classroom. Likewise, the pressure that is put on kids today to wear and have the “coolest” clothing and supplies is only increasing. So, how is a mom (or dad) to make sure her kids are ready to head back to school with the things they need (and a few they want) without breaking the budget? Just use these tips to save money and stock up!
1. Make a List
You know I love my lists, so this is obviously one of my first tips for saving a few bucks when you’re shopping for school clothes and supplies. Start out by making a list of what things your child needs. Our teachers always provided a supply list, but if yours doesn’t stick to the basics until you find out what you need. Once you’ve made a list of supplies, consider what clothing items you need to pick up – tops, jeans, sneakers…Everything doesn’t have to be brand new to start the year, but there are probably a few staples that your child will need, so make sure they are on the list.
2. Shop Sales
Even if they are “End-of-Summer” sales, head in to score some great deals. Even during summer sales, you should be able to find great deals on items like jeans, short sleeve shirts, socks, and other necessities. But, remember, just because it’s on sale, it won’t save you money if you don’t really need it.
3. Focus on Big Items
Focus on purchasing big items at low prices first. Think backpack, tennis shoes, etc. If you can save big on these items using coupons, incentives, rebates, and other savings options, you’ll add up your savings faster than if you shop around to save a few cents on crayons.
4. Shop on Tax Free Days
Most states offer a tax free shopping holiday just in time for back to school shopping. Check to see when your state’s tax free days are and plan accordingly. Saving on tax alone can really add up.
5. Raid Your Stock
So many families have stashes of school supplies that go unused year after year. Before heading to the store, raid your cabinets to see what supplies you already have. Chances are you’ll at least find some notebooks and pencils that can help you save money.
6. Check Out Consignment Sales
Consignment sales are another way to add up your savings. Look for listings in your area and consider donating a few of your items to get cash back to send at the next sale.
Heading back to school can be pricey, but you can do it on a budget with these simple tips. Don’t use the excuse that you don’t know how to save money on back-to-school shopping. Follow these tips and save!