With a list of school supplies a mile long and kids that want everything on it, back-to-school shopping can be an expensive proposition. Here are some tips to save on last-minute back-to-school shopping: Take inventory of what you already have and compare it to the teacher’s supply list to avoid overbuying items. Also, scour online deals and local fliers for sales throughout the summer to get what you need at the best prices.
The last-minute back-to-school shopping rush can be stressful, especially for parents already strapped for cash. Before you hit the stores:
- Take stock of what your kids need for the coming school year.
- Start by consulting the list of required supplies given to you by your child’s teachers.
- Go through their drawers and closets to see what they already have. You might be surprised they have extra pens, notebooks, and other items from the previous year.
Once back-to-school season ends, retailers will sell off leftover inventory at deep discounts to make room for fall merchandise. That’s why it’s important to shop early and often. Use free mobile apps to compare prices and check sales before purchasing. It’s also good to pad your kids’ school shopping budget for unanticipated expenses, like field trips or new clothing, as they grow over the year. It is a great way to teach them the value of saving and planning. It’s also an opportunity to introduce them to comparing and bargaining.
Wait for Sales
Savvy shoppers know it’s important to start with a list of needs versus wants (does your kid need all those new binders?) and then a budget. Still, it’s easy to overspend as kids head back to school. Many retailers offer early sales on essentials like backpacks, lunch boxes, and clothing. It’s also a great time to buy those in-demand items. Some stores even have price matching, meaning that if you find a better deal somewhere else, they will match it. So shop around and always look for a coupon code before hitting the checkout button. Just click here to find good deals on coupons before purchasing back-to-school supplies. And if there is any rebate paperwork, make sure it gets submitted immediately. Otherwise, those pesky little forms will get shuffled around and lost in the ether, which can waste your savings.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a no-brainer: The cost per unit decreases when you purchase a large item. But it’s important to be smart so you don’t end up with too many things that will eventually expire or go to waste. Non-perishables like toiletries and paper goods are the greatest things to buy in quantity. You can find great deals on basic supplies at warehouse stores. Remember to factor in membership fees, which can add up over time. Buying in bulk is also good for household staples that run out quickly or get lost. Those include laundry detergent, bleach, toilet paper, and sunscreen. If you’re a bargain hunter, you should buy from consignment shops. They offer affordable, gently used school supplies and perfect clothes for students. You can even find backpacks and electronics at some locations.
Look for Consignment Items
The school year is upon us, and the inevitable list of back-to-school items comes with it. Whether you need a new backpack, school supplies, or clothing for your kindergartener or college-bound not-so-little one, the list can feel daunting and can lead to overspending (especially with the holidays just a few months away). Creating a comprehensive list and prioritizing your needs is important. Create a budget for each item and shopping thrift and secondhand items. Take advantage of local deals, such as your city’s tax-free weekend. If you need to purchase something new, Hise recommends comparing prices across retailers, using coupons, and shopping at wholesale clubs. And if your child wants a new computer or tablet, consider buying a refurbished version. They’re often significantly cheaper and come with a warranty. Remember to shop for clothing and shoes at stores with frequent 40% off codes.
Look for Discounts
Whether shopping for a backpack for your kindergartener or an electronic device for your college-bound teenager, it’s crucial to look for discounts to save money on last-minute back-to-school shopping. You can find great deals on school supplies by shopping online and looking for clearance items. You should also consult your child’s supply list and check out every drawer and closet in your house to see if you have the necessary items. If you’re shopping online, apps make comparing prices from various retailers easy and let you earn cash back on your purchases. Because they give cash back on purchases, including gas, using a credit card with rewards can also help you save money. Some cards even offer a bonus on your first purchase. The savings can add up quickly. Shoppers can also save by buying a refurbished device instead of a new one.