It’s never too late to think about the school season, even if school has just ended.
Families spend a lot of money every year to get children ready to go back to school. For example, families with school-age children expect: an average of $848.90 for back-to-school supplies and equipment. That’s a total spend of $37.1 billion spent nationally, according to the National Retail Federation, a record reported in the annual survey.
Families can cut some of that cost by planning back to school and following some basic steps. You can organize yourself by using your favorite online calendar to plan your attack and to keep an eye on budgeting for your back-to-school errands.
Here are some of the best ways to save as you prepare to send your kids back to school with everything they need.
1. Start your weekly shopping early
It’s time to get organized and plan your back-to-school shopping. Prices change frequently, so you’ll want to keep up to date with sales opportunities for items your child may need in their backpack. List items you know will be needed for school, focus on the stores with the best selections and prices, collect their sales announcements and offers, and plan your visits to those stores around their sales.
It’s a good idea to enter each store’s sales period into your calendar to keep track of those discount periods. Then, for harder-to-find items, consider keeping an eye out for price drops at a particular store with good discounts and buy even if you don’t find them on sale to beat the back-to-school rush.
2. You can delay the basics
Some school supplies are likely to drop in price the closer you get to the start of school, such as paper, pens, and notebooks. However, there are other ways to save on these items, so don’t rush to buy the basics early. Instead, focus on more specific types of supplies, such as a particular calendar or scientific gear.
3. Search all for coupons
You probably have access to more coupons than you know. They come to your mailbox via direct mail, email spam with coupons for specific stores, and even circulars inserted into newspapers. Be diligent in scouring everything and everywhere for coupons.
For example, you can even search online for coupons and discounts for specific items. For example, Amazon regularly offers coupons for school and office supplies, so be sure to keep an eye out for those bargains. Also make sure keep track of coupon expiration dates on your favorite online calendar to make sure you don’t miss it.
4. Keep track of good deals to match the price
As you compare prices and collect coupons, track offers at office supply stores or retailers. You can then use those deals to negotiate discounts at other retailers that match prices. This is useful, especially when inventory is limited or sold out at the store offering the first deal.
5. Sell what you don’t need before you buy
Be sure to go through old office supplies, equipment, and accessories to sell everything you no longer need for school. While you’re at it, look around the house for everything you can sell that is no longer used. This will give you a good head start on the money you need for back-to-school shopping.
6. Save when you buy in bulk
If you, a friend, or a family member has access to major malls, consider purchasing items to save money. You can join forces with family members, friends, neighbors and other school parents. Buy large quantities of things like pens, pencils, paper, tissues, crayons, brown paper bags, cleaning supplies, and anything kids need. Share the costs with your group and divide the supplies equally.
7. Shopping without your kids
An easy way to save money on back-to-school shopping is to leave your kids at home. When you take your kids to the store, they may choose more expensive items than necessary or ignore your efforts to save money. If your kids insist, leave a few things for them to buy to sort them out at a store you’ve already scouted for good prices. Let them choose folders or notebooks, or you can say they can choose their backpack within a budget that you can afford. gives
8. Buy used if possible
If your kids need to buy textbooks for their classes or certain books that are needed for other purposes, buy used if possible. This is especially true for higher education classes, where you can quickly pay hundreds of dollars for a single textbook. Check out online sales forums on Facebook, eBay, and other programs that allow sellers to post items. You can find plenty of great bargains here, not just on textbooks, but other supplies and equipment as well.
9. Search for E-Textbook License and Other Textbook Bargains
If you’re having trouble finding used books, consider alternatives to buying new textbooks. For example, see if you can buy a cheaper e-Textbook license for your book. You may also want to consider comparing prices at certain textbook retailers and checking for coupons before purchasing. There’s TUN’s Textbook Save Engine or CampusBooks’ search engine that can help you find the cheapest options for specific books.
10. Find Exclusive Student Deals
Many retailers offer student discounts on certain supplies and equipment. For example, Best Buy offers College Student Deals and some tech companies offer specific discount prices, including high school students. These exclusive student deals can save you a lot of money on the technology and equipment you need.
11. Budget for backpacks
One of the most expensive back-to-school purchases is usually that new backpack your student thinks they need to buy. You can save a hefty amount by avoiding expensive branded backpacks and backpacks themed after movies or cartoon characters. You might find that you can strike a deal with your high school student, say, by paying a little more for a quality Timberland or Rockland backpack. However, the value is that they have to agree to use it throughout high school. Otherwise, a sturdy, heavy backpack without the flashy brand name will save you money.
12. Time for your electronics purchases
Plan those purchases if you know you’ll have expensive electronics purchases on your back-to-school list. There are two things to consider when planning those expenses. First, consumer experts note that spring and fall are the best times to buy computers and other electronics. Second, many states waive sales taxes on back-to-school items.
Find out if and when your national tax-free day is and add it to your calendar. Then line up the specials at electronics stores to see if you can make your purchase at a time when they overlap with your VAT vacation. Add them both to your calendar to keep up to date with deals.
13. Look for clothing deals
It can be expensive to buy new wardrobes so that your children can go back to school. So shop early for clothes bargains. If you have a large network of parents with older children, you can organize a clothing swap to see if some items are for your children and theirs. You can also check thrift stores to find clothes that your child will like.
14. Take advantage of credit card offers
You may have credit cards that offer discounts and rewards to help you save money on back-to-school shopping. Make sure to take advantage of those discounts on items you know you should buy anyway. Depending on the credit card promotion, you can earn between 2% and 5% on each purchase. Remember that even small amounts can add up!
Recommended Image Credit: Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyil; Pexels; Thank you!
The mail 14 ways to find the best back-to-school bargains this year appeared first on Calendar.
- 1 1. Start your weekly shopping early
- 2 2. You can delay the basics
- 3 3. Search all for coupons
- 4 4. Keep track of good deals to match the price
- 5 5. Sell what you don’t need before you buy
- 6 6. Save when you buy in bulk
- 7 7. Shopping without your kids
- 8 8. Buy used if possible
- 9 9. Search for E-Textbook License and Other Textbook Bargains
- 10 10. Find Exclusive Student Deals
- 11 11. Budget for backpacks
- 12 12. Time for your electronics purchases
- 13 13. Look for clothing deals
- 14 14. Take advantage of credit card offers