Back to school shopping can be a significant expense every year, with teachers sending home lists of supplies that are sometimes pages long. Fortunately, you do not have to break the budget when getting ready to go back to school for the year. Here are a few tips to help you get your kids (or yourself) ready for the school year at an affordable price.
Tips on Back-to-School Savings
To make your back-to-school shopping more affordable, consider the following tips:
- Shop the sales. Almost every store has flyers that offer back-to-school bargains. Making a list of the sales and check the deals against your supplies list. If there is something you need that you can get at a bargain price, make a note to pick it up. You can also keep your supplies list with you and if you happen to be out and see a deal, you can jump on the chance. If you don’t want to drive to a bunch of stores to pick up all the items, consider partnering with other families- you can go to one big box store to get the best deals there while the other family can hit up another nearby shop.
- Check the thrift stores. You may be able to get deals on backpacks and back-to-school clothes at an affordable price by visiting your local Goodwill or other thrift shop.
- Shop garage sales. Both school supplies and back-to-school cloths can be picked up at bargain prices by spending time garage-saleing this summer.
- Check prices on the Internet. This can be especially useful when buying text books. For some classes, it is possible to buy a book that is just an edition or two outdated. The changes may be minor from one book version to the next, but the cost savings can be in the hundreds of dollars if you are able to do this. Textbook rental places or digital versions of text books may also offer you a cheaper option for back-to-school books, while the summer reading list can often be read from the library.
- Buy only what you really need. To find out what supplies you have left over from last year, check around your house and see what you may have in drawers or lying around. If you have materials left over from the year prior, there is no reason to buy brand new for everything. Your kids may want a shiny new notebook or new lunchbox, but if you are reasonable and explain to them that you are trying to stretch the back-to-school budget and that last year’s notebook is just as good, then they should understand.
- Wait until the sales for items that aren’t necessary right away. If your child hasn’t quite outgrown last years clothes or shoes, you can wait until the end-of-season sale to get the items for a lot less than in the rush in late August and early September.
By following these simple tips, you should be able to get your kids back to school for less. Remember, during the course of the school year, you should also be on the lookout for bargains to get a jump start on what you might need for next year. If you spread out the cost of shopping for back-to-school over the entire course of the year, then your wallet won’t take such a hit in August or September.