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Ways to Save with Back to School

Going back to school means a few more expenses with school supplies, shoes and clothes. But, back to school spending doesn’t have to break the bank. There are more ways than ever to save on back to school items:
Shop at Home First
Take an inventory of what you currently own. Do you really need another ruler, backpack or pair of scissors, or can you use some items you already have that are in good shape? Remember to shop your local, hometown retailers first; they are the ones who donate to your school’s activities and events.

Study First, Shop Second
Stores compete for your back to school dollar. Weekly sales circulars feature lots of bargains to get you in the store. Select the best buys from each store – and then leave before buying those regular-priced items that may be on sale somewhere else! If stores in your area offer price matching, consider shopping there to save on gas. Stock up for the school year on low-priced items that you will use throughout the year, but resist the temptation to buy things you won’t use just because they are on sale. Remember, some items may be clearance priced after school starts, so delaying spending may save you money as well.

Take a Second Chance to Save
Chances are you’re not the only one trying to save on back to school clothing. Many parents find second-hand stores and garage sales a wise choice for fast-growing kids. Designer and high-end clothing can often be found on various online shopping sites for substantial savings. Consider organizing a clothing swap for parents of kids of all ages – especially if your child wears school uniforms. Dollar stores also offer many paper products at rock-bottom prices.

Partner With Another Penny-Pincher
Do you really need a pack of 500 pencils? Consider splitting low-priced bulk items with another parent. back to school sales are very tempting with all of the locker accessories, colored pens and unique notepads. Avoid overspending on non-essentials by deciding how you are going to handle your child’s requests for non-essentials before you go to the store. Some strategies include permitting one extra purchase, having your child purchase any non-essentials, or having your child pay the difference between the plain-Jane item and the fancier one.

Always Safeguard Your Finances
Keep good financial records. Monitor your checking account and credit card statements. Keep receipts to help with any exchanges. Carry a minimal amount of cash. If you’re shopping online, be sure that your transaction is protected.

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