You may already be dreading what back to school shopping is going to cost you. However, with a few maneuvers, you can save big on your supplies, whether it be for elementary, middle, high school or college.
Start with a budget
The first part of your plan is creating a budget. Figure out what you need to buy and how much you are willing and able to spend on the supplies. If you are planning for your children, it may be a good idea to let them in on the plan. Learning about money is an important life lesson. And by teaching it to them now you are preparing them for later. Plus, it will help you stay on task if they understand what kind of money you have to work with.
Check your closets
Before you start shopping, make sure to check your house: basement, storage room, closets, desks, etc. You may find that you have more supplies on hand than you originally thought. Also, keep in mind that if some school supplies need a refurbishing, you can always go to Pinterest for some DIY ideas.
Know where to shop
Your shopping will get a lot more expensive if you do it spontaneously. That’s why it’s essential that you know where to shop. Look at local ads, clip coupons, figure out who has the best deals, then make a plan of action. But don’t limit yourself to big name department stores. You can also check eBay, Amazon, half.com, cheaptextbooks.com, dollar stores, thrift stores, garage sales, and flea markets. There are a wide array of places that you can find discounted school supplies from backpacks to pencils.
Keep a look out
Coupons and store flyers aren’t the only way to find the best deals. Follow stores on social media and/or sign up for their text messages for updates. Sometimes they will share deals and discounts. You can also follow RainingHotCoupons to get a list of current deals. And use RetailMeNot.com to find sales as well as coupon codes.
Know the best time to shop
You may feel the need to buy all your supplies before school starts. But if there are any supplies that can wait, you may want to put off buying until the rush hour ends. Many stores will then discount their school supplies 50% or more to get rid of the stockpile. This may limit your selection, but you can find supplies for a fraction of the cost. Also, keep in mind, you can always stock up for next year.
Back-to-school shopping can add up quickly if you’re not prepared. So be a smart shopper, create a plan and map out your savings agenda. Save those dollars for another day!