Yes, summer is just about over! Back-to-school shopping has begun!
Whether your child is heading to college, high school or first grade, back-to-school shopping can totally deconstruct your budget. According to a new survey by RetailMeNot, parents expect to spend even more money this year than they spent last year!
What you need is a back-to-school shopping strategy to save money and stay on track with your 2018 financial goals.
We’re rushing this blog article out today, so you have all the tips you need to protect your budget.
Here are 10 ways to save money on your back-to-school shopping.
Make a list of everything you need, budget how much money you are going to spend, and stick to it. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy. Here is a great overview of the most common school supplies you will need to purchase, broken down by grade.
Before you go out, be sure to do an inventory around the house. Chances are you have lots of supplies leftover from last year. If you have young kids, you can turn the task into a treasure hunt. Whoever finds the most school supplies gets a prize.
State Tax-Free Holidays
Tax-Free holidays on your back-to-school shopping began on the 1st of August. Be sure to check here to see when the state sales tax holiday is happening in your state.
If the kids are young, coordinate the list with them, but leave them home. Tweens and teens can help you if the ground rules have already been agreed to: “we only buy what’s on the list.”
This can also be a good opportunity to teach them about budgeting. Older teens can be given their own money to buy what’s on their list. They will need to prioritize and when the money runs out, no replenishing.
Look for Bargains
The best way to save on school supplies is to shop at the office supply stores. Head to stores such as Staples and Office Depot where you will find plenty of bargains on notebooks, binders, staplers and staples, white-out, pens, pencils and everything else you need.
A great online retailer for budget-saving prices on your school supplies is Boxed, and there is no membership. Head over to the “Office and School department” to find everything you need to equip your kids for the classroom.
Supermarkets can sometimes be an even better resource for your school supplies. Be sure to keep an eye on store ads, special sale days and coupons.
Stores such as Target and Walmart will price match, so it’s good to shop around and compare prices for the items you need. Remember online merchants too. If you find better prices elsewhere, talk to customer service at Target and Walmart and get them to match the price.
Timing is Everything
Items such as backpacks and those designer binders that the kids will be begging for will go on clearance in September at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart. If you can wait until then, you will save quite a bit on your back-to-school shopping expenses.
This has become standard today. No matter the grade, your child is probably going to need a tablet, laptop, computer or some other digital device. The good news is that August and September are great months to purchase one.
BestBuy is the best retailer for printers, laptops, tablets, electronics, etc. Stores are in fierce competition with each other, so shop around and rake in the savings.
Clothing can really make a dent in your back-to-school budget. Fall and winter clothing is not going to be on sale now. Summer clothes are going to be on the sales rack. If you happen to live where the temperatures are going to stay moderate for a couple of more months, buy from the summer sale rack. And even if not, stock up for next year.
If your kids are heading to college, you will want to visit Target.com. It is one of the best online retailers for finding everything they want for their dorm room or off-campus apartment. If you shop online and then pick up everything from the store, you save 15%. You can also open a college registry to help with the expenses of these four years.