Let’s face it, whether you are ready or not, school is going to be starting before you know it. This can be a stressful time for a lot of families when they look at all of the purchases that need to be made and wonder how they will make ends meet. Here are a few tips to help you save on your back to school purchases.
INVENTORY: Just because it is a new year, doesn’t mean that you must buy all new supplies. Take a look at the crayons – do you still have the number required on the supplies list? How about the notebook? Just tear out the used pages. Clean up that backpack from last year and wipe out the pencil box. Even if the erasers are shot on the pencils, you can pick up a package of erasers tips and make them as good as new.
CLOTHES: This seems to be a thorn in the side of many parents. If your children’s clothes don’t fit, then you will have to get them something that does. But, that doesn’t always mean that you have to hit the department stores and drop $40 on a pair of jeans. Try garage sales or consignment shops. Keep your eyes on those sales at your favorite store. If you have a friend who has a child sizes up or down from yours, consider a clothing swap.
COMPARISON SHOP: I am sure by now that you have been bombarded with ads containing deals. If you are running miles between locations to save $0.05 on that box of crayons, did you really save the money or did you spend it in fuel expenses? Sometimes, it is easier and more frugal to pick up all of your items at the same store. And don’t forget about price matching – -which is a great way to get the best prices with just one stop!
SCHOOL LUNCHES: If you can pack your child’s lunch, you might be able to save handing over more money to your school district. Avoid the prepackaged meals (they are also full of more nitrates and things that aren’t always healthy anyhow) and cookies/snacks. Instead, opt for the simple sandwich, some apple sticks and carrot sticks to give your child a meal that is not only healthy, but also relatively inexpensive as well. If you can’t bring your own lunch and money is tight, check with your school about the reduced or free lunch programs that they offer.
STOCK UP FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR: If you wait until a month or so after school has started, you are likely to find items marked down even further. I picked up 1 subject notebooks for only $0.05 each and even found backpacks for just $4.98. So, I set them back for THIS school year and now, we have the supplies we will need and have paid even less than the “hot” back to school deals this year.
SHOP TAX FREE. There are many states that are offering tax free shopping to help families save money. I previously shared a list of these events. You can find out if your state participates here.
Back to school shopping doesn’t have to break the bank. Find one or two areas that maybe you can splurge on and try to curb spending in other areas. And dont’ forget to join me in our Back to School Giveaway Bonanza, which officially kicks off next Monday, August 9th!