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The Best Money Saving Tips to Save on Back-to-School Shopping
Back to school shopping was one of my favorite things to do growing up. I am obsessed with office supplies (My dream job was to work at Staples!). I love the fresh smell of new clothes and shoes, unopened boxes of pencils and of course I was always excited to see my friends again!
I am the oldest of three children-my mother kept a budget for us (about $500/child which included clothes, shoes, backpack, underwear etc). $500 sounds a lot per child but it adds up quickly! I did not realize until I was a senior in high school (by then I was working at a Daycare and at Toys R Us and mom made me purchase my own clothes) that back to school shopping can get expensive-especially if you have multiple kids! Seems like these days, kids need more than just some pencils and notebooks! Here are some tips to help you stay on budget.
- Make a budget–This is the FIRST and most IMPORTANT Step that you should do! As I mentioned earlier-my mom would spend about $500 for each of us and she would keep track in a notebook of what she spent for each of us. Sit down one night and write down everything that you need for each child. Calculate how much you think you need for each child and STICK to it!. If you are waiting until August to start school shopping, start putting aside money each week.
- Start school supply shopping now-Places like Target, Office Max/Office Depot and Staples and Walmart already have school supply items on sale and many are at rock bottom prices! Check out the weekly ads as some items do have limits
- Take advantage of tax free weekend-this year, tax free weekend for Virginia is August 3-5th. Many wait to back-to-school shop until that weekend because clothes and school supplies are tax free!
- Purchase items with a lifetime warranty-Sure that bookbag at Walgreens is only $5 but will it last? My Jansport that I bought in highschool lasted me through college and a few years after that. Several brands like Columbia, LL Bean, Jansport offer warranties -check out their websites for more information
- Know your price point-It is good to know what is a good price on school supplies! Check out my spreadsheet
- Shop consignment sales-August/September is when you will start to see fall consignment sales.I have found brand name items for my nephew with tags still attached!
- Purchase school supplies year round-I remember that I seemed to run out of supplies halfway through the year-you know every year that your kids will usually need pencils, paper, folders, notebooks-stock up and keep them somewhere (Like a clear container) so that way if you child runs out of paper in January-you have a stockpile and won’t have to pay full price!
- Take advantage of Online shopping and earning cash back with Ebates–If you plan to shop online this year, make sure that you are earning cash back with Ebates! Retailers will be offering good deals on kids clothes and stack that with Ebates for an even better savings!
9.Use apps like SavingStar, Ibotta, Checkout51 to earn cash back on back to school snacks-If you plan to pack the kids lunches this year-make sure that you have these apps to earn cash back on your grocery purchases! August you will see a lot of coupons for snacks-you will also find food deals at the grocery stores. Apps like Ibotta let you earn cash back on your grocery and online purchases.
Hopefully these tips will help you get started with your back-to-school shopping. This time can be an emotional and stressful time. But if you have a plan and stick to your budget, back-to-school shopping can be a breeze!
How do you save on back-to-school shopping?