It’s never too early to start thinking about back-to-school purchases and how to get the biggest bang for your educational buck. You can get children ready for the next school year without breaking the budget and maybe even have a little something leftover to spend on yourself with these tips.
Start at Home
Kids bring home a lot of leftovers and never-used items at the end of each school year. Plus we buy a variety of glue, pencils, paper and other school supplies for projects at home, so start back-to-school shopping at home. Make it a game for your kids by having a scavenger hunt to see who can find the most school-related items with the winner getting a prize.
Instead of going to multiple stores to shop for needed items, make one trip to a store that offers price-matching. Scour the sale circulars and pick out the best prices, then make one trip armed with circulars to save yourself time, gas and overspending at the checkout.
Wait to go back-to-school shopping for the tax-free weekend offered in August, if your state has one, and save yourself some money. Get an app for your smartphone that will allow you to scan product barcodes to ensure you’re getting the lowest price on the item.
No need to purchase an entire school year’s worth of clothing in late summer, buy a couple must-haves now and the rest as the seasons change and prices get slashed.
Swap Instead of Shop
Clothing exchanges abound online and in communities. Swapping sporting equipment, band instruments and the like are also gaining popularity among parents who find themselves with slightly used items which they spent a small fortune on. Check online and at your local school for any type of swap meets in your area.
Many of the classic books which will be required reading in some classes can be downloaded for free. The downloads can be printed in a variety of formats if desired and you can save yourself the expense of purchasing new books.
Leave Kids at Home
Only take the kids back-to-school shopping if they must try on clothing or shoes. You will be able to avoid impulse buying better if little Susie isn’t with you begging for the latest glitter-encrusted doo-dad or Bieber-fever item.