With another school year starting soon, many families are hitting the stores to go back to school shopping. Before you head out the door or go online, make sure you are armed with two basics things: a list of what you need to get and a budget that you can live with. It’s easy to overspend: a survey from American Express found that parents spend more than $1,000 on average on back to school supplies, up nearly 25% since 2011!
If your kids are older, consider asking them to set aside a portion of their own money for any extras that they’d like to buy this year. It relieves the financial burden and teaches your kids how to save. Want more ideas for the back to school rush? Check out these three tips!
Know Where and When to Shop
Retailers expect a slight surge in shopping this month, so it’s up to parents to make sure that they are getting the best prices for what they are buying. DealNews lists some great places where you can get your kid’s wardrobe at some wonderfully cheap prices. There are some summer clearances going on now on staples like jeans, hoodies, and basic tops. Also remember, many summer clothes can be used for much of the school year. If you’re looking for laptops, tablets, and other electronics, sites like NewEgg can give you some competitive deals.
Using coupon and discount sites like RetailMeNot can be financially savvy, as well. Every year they have a back to school deal page that highlights some great savings on items you may already be considering, like kids’ clothes, electronics and other learning materials.
Organize a Swap Meet
You probably have friends and relatives who have kids: so how about a swap meet? Everyone brings a certain number of used clothes and supplies in great condition, perhaps clothes their child grew out of or never used. If you bring three items, you can leave with three items. This could work for back-to-school clothes, shoes, electronics and even sports equipment.
Buy Supplies in Bulk
If you have school supply lists for multiple children, they will probably need some similar items, such as pens, notebooks and tissue. You can get these items at a discount if you buy them in bulk from warehouse clubs. Consider teaming up with a group of friends, splitting the costs of the items bought in bulk.
I hope these tips can save your family some money this month. How many of you are shopping for school supplies, clothes, and technology? Where have you found some good deals?