As families prepare to return to school, many will spend on supplies, clothes, and new tech gadgets. But these purchases don’t have to be stressful for parents or the environment. With the help of comparison shopping, coupons, and cash-back apps, you can slash your family’s back-to-school bill significantly.
Make a List
The best way to save money when back-to-school supplies are by making a list of essentials. It will keep you from getting swayed by enticing sales and impulsive purchases that will ultimately cost more in the long run. Plus, making a list will help ensure you get everything your kiddos need for school. Before hitting the stores, shop your kids’ closets and drawers to see what they have left over from last year. You may be surprised to find some pens, paper, backpacks, and other supplies still in good shape. Plus, it’s always a good idea to buy clothing in a bigger size so your kids can wear them again next year. Also, be sure to check online before purchasing. You can use apps that offer cash-back to compare prices across multiple retailers. Consider buying one-time school items in bulk. For example, rather than purchasing a package of 8 Crayola markers, buy a case that will hold them for the entire year.
Check Daily Deal Sites
The back-to-school season brings deals on school supplies, clothes, and technology. Shop online for coupons and cash-back apps to help you save. Just click here about frequent promo codes. Some items, like paper, pens, and notebooks, are cheaper to buy in bulk. You can also cut costs on clothes and shoes by buying for the next year. Ask your kids what sizes they’re growing into, and consider swapping clothing with friends who have older children. Instead of rushing to the store to purchase everything your kids need for the new school year, consider waiting until a few weeks before school starts. Retailers want to clear out all those excess supplies, so they’ll offer deep discounts to eliminate them. By waiting, you can avoid the dreaded sticker shock and teach your kids how to budget and save. If you want to keep the savings rolling in, start an emergency savings account for your child and have them contribute every week.
Shop the Bargains
Extra planning can help you avoid spending money on items your kids don’t need or won’t use. Buying in bulk, for instance, can be a smart way to save on school supplies, but it’s also important to consider the quality of those supplies. It might be worth the investment if you can find higher quality backpacks, pencil cases and other items at a lower price.
Regarding clothing, it’s also a good idea to shop around. You can often find better deals at dollar stores, resale shops and online retailers.
Another great way to reduce waste is to buy reusable items such as lunch boxes, water bottles and even the paper goods you’ll need. Many resale and thrift stores offer a wide variety of these items at low prices. You can also look for refurbished technology items such as laptops, tablets and headphones at lower prices than new options.
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One of the most effective ways to save money on back-to-school supplies is to buy used ones. Buying second-hand products, whether a backpack or clothing, is more than just cost-effective and helps the environment. Another way to save is to wait for blowout school supplies and clothing sales. Retailers can eliminate inventory during these discounts to create a place for fall and winter merchandise. Additionally, if you have a student ID, feel free to use it to get deals at your favorite stores. Finally, check local deals like tax-free holidays before buying school supplies or clothes. Not only does this save you money, but it also teaches your children the importance of budgeting and differentiating between needs and wants.
A surprisingly big source of waste in back-to-school shopping is the amount of extras in the trash. From a single plastic glue stick to a box full of pencils, each item requires energy for production, transport and landfill. Luckily, many things are easy to find second-hand and can be shared. For example, a reusable glue sponge can eliminate the need for individual glue sticks and reduce the plastic waste created by the single-use variety. Carpooling and choosing to buy in bulk when possible also helps reduce the number of products purchased and wasted. Finally, when it comes to clothing and school supplies, thrifting is a sustainable option that can save parents money while reducing the impact of fast fashion on our planet. And if the kids need new clothes, consider hand-me-downs from older siblings. Remember that most teachers send out a list of items required for that semester or year. If you shop before getting that, you will likely spend money on things your children won’t use or even need.