7 tips to saving money on Back to School items
For some people, school supply shopping is a lot of fun and as well as being a traditional spending spree that yields a haul much like Christmas. I know it was for my Mom and I.
This year how about turning the thought process around and making back to school shopping a, fun and traditional savings spree instead. With careful planning, not only can you take care of your child’s needs, it’s also a great way to get home office supplies too. Here are 7 tips to make your shopping easier on the wallet.
#1 – Take stock
You might be surprised at how much you have on hand. Back to School sales typically last all the way through October. Using what you have on hand can allow you the time needed to take real advantage of sales as they progress. You might try tuning this into a fun game, where the kids search through their stuff from a scavenger hunt style list looking for last year’s scissors, pencil sharpener and protractor.
#2 – Stick to a list
Wait for the teacher to release the list of supplies needed then make your list of required supplies with your child. Your list will also help teach the kids responsible shopping. It’s easy to get distracted with that super cute light up My Little Pony back pack with matching lunchbox and water bottle but, is it really needed?
#3 – Set Limits
As your kids grow older, they will want more and more of the hottest and most “trendy” items. Although your kids crave these items, these “character-focused” products will quickly destroy your back to school budget. In addition, these items often aren’t made with much quality.
#4 – Buy in Bulk
Buy in bulk to save money on back to school shopping. When pens, crayons, and glue go on sale in the late summer, buy enough to get you through the rest of the year. This is also a great time to stock-up on office supplies for yourself. And, don't forget the tape for Christmas. It's usually at it's cheapest this time of year.
#5 – Buy Used
Good quality clothing doesn’t have to be purchased new. You might take a look at Kid to Kid stores that sell gently used kids clothing. There are several along the Wasatch Front. Pack up any kids clothing you have when you go, Kid to Kid will also accept kids clothing that meets their guidelines and give you credit to use in the store. Just Between Friends Consignment sale is another great way to buy used.
#6 – Shop the Loss Leaders
Almost all stores advertise “loss leaders” in their weekly flyers. Loss leaders are the items that are marked down so much, that the store doesn’t make a profit on them, in hopes that you’ll purchase other items while shopping. They are usually on the front page of the ads. Eventually everything you need will be a loss leader. Staples, Target, Walgreens, Shopko and Smith’s Marketplace all have fabulous loss leaders each week.
#7 – Use coupons
Combining coupons with the sales is the best way to maximize your savings and often you’ll get your free items or pennies on the dollar. Find coupons on mobile apps like Ibotta, Target Cartwheel, and Smith’s mobile app. You can also find coupons for school and office supplies in you Sunday Newspaper inserts and on Coupons.com.
Back to school shopping can be pricey. Hopefully these tips will help you save a few dollars.
How much money do you spend on back to school?