School shopping might look a little different this year, but here are some timeless tips for how to save money during the “back to school” shopping season.
#1 What supplies from last year are still alive & kicking? Older children likely have folders, binders, and backpacks that can be re-used another year.
#2 Sign up for store reward programs to get access to special coupons, discounts, and rebates.
#3 Follow your favorite stores on Facebook and Twitter, or check in on their social media pages periodically to look for special coupons and sales they’ve published for their fans.
#4 Shop generic where possible. For example, a pencil-case decorated with a character likely costs more than a plain pencil-case or generic branded pencil-case.
#5 Try shopping online for a quicker experience (skip the long lines), bigger selection, and the ability to easily compare prices. Look for coupons online to save a % off or get free shipping.
#6 Divide and conquer. Partner up with a few other parents and tackle the buying of common items (pencils, notebooks, folders) together. Watch the sales flyers for penny deals and deep discounts, and have one parent take each store. One can do a Staples run, one a Walmart run, and one a Costco run, etc. Then divide up the supplies, tally up everyone’s cost and share the haul. This strategy also saves YOU from running all over town and waiting in long lines to grab the best deals!
#7 Even though you’re excited about the kids going back to school, try to hold off on shopping until September if possible. Many of the prices on school supplies will be lower by then.
#8 At the grocery store, pass up the “fun-size” and “snack-size” items and buy the full-size versions. You can make your own lunchbox size snacks with plastic baggies or reusable plastic storage containers.
#9 Gather some friends together and hold a clothing swap to get new outfits for your kiddos while also cleaning out your closets!
#10 Visit your local thrift store for bargain-priced, gently used clothes for kids. You can also find backpacks and binders at thrift stores if you shop early in the summer.