Next to Christmas, back to school shopping is the second largest retail season of the year. Between clothes, school supplies, classroom supplies, and technology, the cost of going back to school can really add up. Whether you have a child starting kindergarten or finishing college, there are some shopping secrets to get your family the best of back to school savings this year.
How to Get Your Family Better Back to School Savings This Year
Organize and Make a List
Gather all the school supply lists in your home and figure out what you have and what you need. Chances are if you organize closets, desks, and storage spaces, you may find you already have some of the required school supplies. Once you have everything written down, it is easier to watch for upcoming sales and get the best deal possible. If you have an organized list, you are less likely to be surprised by unexpected school expenses that pop up later as well.
Shop on Tax Free Weekends
Many states offer tax free weekends around back to school time, so take advantage when you can. Although, it may only seem like a few dollars here and there, the savings will definitely add up. This is especially true if you have to buy bigger ticket items, such as a computer.
Consignment shopping used to have a certain stigma attached, but in recent years, has become quite a trend for people in all income brackets. It turns out everyone likes saving money and the added environmental benefits that come with consuming less and shopping used. Keep an eye out for local yard sales and check out local or online consignment shops. You can even sell some things your kids are done with to help defray the cost of their needs this year.
Sign up for mailing lists and follow your favorite retailers on social media to take advantage of coupons and sales. This can save your family a lot of money. On sites like Discountrue you can find coupons for Kohl’s and many other big name brands. Don’t throw away coupons you don’t plan to use without first considering coupon swapping. For example if you need clothing coupons, and have some for Yankee Candle you have no plans to use, consider connecting with someone that wants your coupons and swapping. It is a mutually beneficial situation and there are websites out there completely devoted to connecting coupon swappers.
Host a Back-to-School Swap
Host a gathering of friends that have kids of similar ages and have a clothing swap. A back-to-school swap is a fun way to get rid of items that are outgrown or no longer used, and acquire some “new-to-you” gear. It is also a nice time for parents and kids to socialize before going back to school.
Back-to-school shopping may be the only thing your kids get excited about when it comes to school starting back up, but don’t become overwhelmed by the idea of paying for it all. If you get organized and tap into your creativity, it is possible to get quality items your kids will love without breaking the budget.