Back-to-School Shopping 101

How to Save Money on Back-to-School Shopping

With all the excitement that accompanies the start of a new school year, it is easy to go overboard on back-to-school shopping. Fortunately, there are many ways to save during your back-to-school shopping adventures. Here are some tips that will help keep more money in your wallet when filling your shopping cart with back-to-school supplies.

Take Inventory

New clothes along with needed school supplies can easily cause your back-to-school shopping spree to break the bank. Take inventory first. The key to saving money when shopping for school clothes and supplies is to not buy what you don’t need. If you receive a suggested supply list from your child’s teacher, take it along when shopping. If you have extra supplies at home, use those before purchasing more items. You will find that a surprising amount of money can be saved by simply not buying duplicate items.

Check the Flyers and Divide and Conquer

Once you determine what school supplies you do need, scan sales circulars before shopping. Most office supply stores have incredible savings on a few items during August as a way to lure customers into their stores. Only buy the sale items when you go into the stores. Oftentimes you can get a dozen pencils, single-subject notebooks, glue, and crayons for a dime each! Pair up with a parent of your child’s friend and divvy up your back-to-school shopping. You can each shop at one store and get enough supplies for each other. That way you can still save money and avoid having to drive all over town.

Check the Paper

When you head out to the mall, read the newspaper first! Usually in August many department stores print coupons in sales flyers or the local newspaper. Do not shop without these coupons. You will be able to dress in style and still save money by using them. With all of the back-to-school shopping you need to do, saving an additional 15% or 20% on already discounted clothes will make the savings add up quickly.

Buy Only What You Need

You don’t have to buy clothing for the entire school year in August. Stick with buying the necessary clothing for September and October. Once school starts you can purchase additional clothing for your children. That way, you can take advantage of mid-season sales. Just because it is called back-to-school shopping doesn’t mean you can only shop in August.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead also helps. If you see particularly good sales or bargains during the school year, try to anticipate your needs for the following year. If a local store is going out of business and you can get inexpensive pastel-colored notebook paper or 3-ring binders, go for it. Your child will likely always need these items. With the above tips, hopefully your back-to-school shopping can be a fun, yet thrifty yearly event!