According to the National Retail Federation, back to school shopping is expected to reach $24.9 billion with the average family planning to spend $630 on school supplies. However, you don’t have to drain your wallet in order to prepare your kids for school.
The first and easiest tip to save on back to school shopping is to take inventory of what you already have at home. See what clothes, notebooks, and other supplies can be reused and which ones need to be replaced. From there, you can make a list of what is actually needed instead of buying excess supplies. (Otherwise, you’ll end up like me with cabinets full of extra binders, papers, colored pencils and more!)
Talk to Teachers
It is also helpful to speak to your children’s teachers to find out what items are required and which items are best to buy. If you are taking your children on the shopping trip with you, be sure to stress to them that you there to only buy what it is on the list and that no extras are needed.
Utilize Social Media
Many people are now turning to social media as means for back to school shopping. Instead of shopping around, Facebook is now seen as a more convenient way to shop as many people are buying, selling, and trading various items at lower prices. it is also a way for parents to find furniture for their children’s dorms without breaking the bank.
Optimize Your Shopping
If you have multiple children, it may also be helpful to shop with a friend or family member. That way, each of you can be responsible for shopping for a specific child in order to cut your shopping time in half. When going shopping, be sure to make your list and then check to see which stores are having sales. Compare prices and shop at different stores, if possible, to ensure that you are getting the best deals.
One of the secrets to finding the best deals is to do some school shopping in the “off season.” If you see there is a sale on an item you are beginning to run out of, don’t hesitate to purchase that item for the upcoming school year. If your children have stopped growing or are growing more slowly, buying clothes during this time will score you big savings.
It is also best to not buy theme products and instead buy more durable options that will last you longer. Chances are, your child’s favorite character or movie will change by the time the next school year rolls around and you will be forced to buy new products. Buying solid color or patterned items will last much longer.
Don’t be one of the many people who will over spend on school supplies this year. Use these tips to help you make better buying decision and save the money in your wallet.