I know many of us don’t want the summer to end on certain days and other days we can’t wait for the kids to go back to school. Back to school doesn’t just mean we get into a schedule it means for many, cost. Every year the students need certain supplies for school.
Don’t let the hype and retail marketing hurt your bank account. Just like with Christmas shopping it is so easy to get caught up in pretty or convenience. Don’t be an emotional shopper. Our kids only need the basics when it comes to school supplies.
Here are 16 Tips to Enable You to Be a Pro Back to School Shopper
Make a Budget. Yep even for school supplies. You need to know how much you can spend. Yes your child has items they must have but you have bills that must be paid every month. So you need to figure out each month what you can spend for school supplies. If you start now you have several weeks to budget and get supplies in a slow and steady pace. Once that won’t drain your bank account for the week and leave you stressed out and maxed out. Free Budget tool here.
Take Inventory of what’s already in your house. How many times have you gone through a drawer once the kids are in school and found a pack of pens or glue sticks that got left behind from last year? Go through every spot in your house and gather up supplies the kiddos could bring to school with them.
Start Shopping Now. Don’t wait until the last week before school starts. Retailers will already be on the Halloween. Things move fast these days. The school deals are out now. Get the best price while you can instead of grabbing what is left. Which will be the over priced items.
Buy the Basics First. If you are on a tight budget each month be sure to get the basics for your child their first few weeks of school like pencils, paper folders, backpack. Then budget for the next month to get the rest.
Check all the sales flyers. The deals are on right now for back to school shopping. You can grab a number of things even at the dollar store for the basics.
Watch online deals for electronics. My favorite site for electronic deals is Newegg.com. They have daily deals here to check first. Otherwise warehouse stores like BJ’s Wholesale club offer great savings during this time on electronics.
Use Coupons. You can use the coupon database here to search through thousands of coupons available online and from the Sunday Newspaper coupon inserts.
Use Target Cartwheel to save on clothes. You don’t see printable coupons much for clothes like supplies and groceries but Target has it going on with the Cartwheel app. They frequently have savings on apparel.
Shop Yard Sales. You still have time to look at garage sales for school supplies. You would be surprised that there are packs of pencils and pens unopened. You never know so if your budget is smaller there is no shame in searching at yard sales for school supplies.
Pay with Cash. If you need to stick to a budget the best way to do this is to use cash. Using a credit card makes the swipe too easy. Remember your budget. When the hype of back to school shopping is over and it’s October you will be smiling knowing you don’t have any catching up to do from shopping for school supplies. Stick to the budget and use money you actually have.
Shop Online Thrift Clothing stores. Yes this is a thing that I just started dabbing into a few months ago. Sites like Schoola ( my favorite) offer gently used clothing at 70% OFF retail price shipped to your home and they give proceeds to local schools! They always have great sales going on as well. Thredup is another used clothing store. You could even have your older children browse through. They may not even realized it is used clothing!
Buy the Basic Pens. Don’t get caught up in the sparkles. Keep it simple with the standard blue or black pens.
Split the Graph Paper. Has your child ever used the whole pack? This can be split up among your children.
Buy Only 1 Highlighter. You don’t need more then one. These are not for coloring they are just for highlighting. One should last all year.
Don’t let the wish list bring about guilt. Buy one item on the wish list if you can now and make a planned effort to add a few more from the list in the middle of the school year.
Don’t let your child’s wants get blurred with their needs. I know I’m a parent too and there are times it is not easy. Especially when we don’t buy things for the girls often. A big event like back to school shopping creates a slight vulnerability in me, yet giving into their wants leaves a dent in my bank account and teaches my child less then if I stick with their needs and maybe ONE want.