Back to school season can get really expensive, especially if you’ve got more than one kid to outfit for the coming year. Online shopping site PriceGrabber®, in addition to offering a back-to-school shopping guide, suggests 10 money-saving tips to help parents save on back to school supplies and keep more cash in their wallets…for Christmas, of course!
1. Take a household inventory. Scan the kitchen, office, bedrooms and the rest of the house for miscellaneous school supplies. Take an inventory of the findings and then compare this to your kids’ supply lists. You’ll most likely find a lot of things on your list are already covered.
Read Related: How to Save on Back to School Supplies
2. Make a list with a budget and stick to it. When planning a budget for this year’s back to school shopping, start by making a list and separating “must-have” items from “wants.” This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in some trendy gear for the kids; just shop for necessities first.
3. Involve the older kids. Turn back-to-school shopping into a family activity by charting out the budget in a creative way with your children. This will help teach them to budget and compare prices as you bond as a family.
4. Host a clothing exchange with other parents. Invite about 12 to 15 parents with children of similar ages, sizes and genders over to exchange kids’ clothing. Have guests bring about 10 clean items in good condition so that they can leave with 10 different pieces in similar condition. Even if only a few items fit, everything was still free.
5. Shop online and look for free shipping. Skip the crowds and shop online. Comparison-shopping sites such as PriceGrabber.com can save consumers money on popular back-to-school items like tablet computers, backpacks, dorm room furniture, and basic school supplies. Look for retailers offering free shipping to save even more.
6. Use your mobile device as a shopping aid. If shopping a brick-and-mortar store sale, use your smartphone to ensure the sale price is really the best deal in town. Download the PriceGrabber mobile app or visit the site from your browser to quickly check for deals you may have missed.
7. Shop end-of-summer sales. Stock up on summer clothing which can be worn well into the fall. Sweaters and leggings can be paired with summer shirts and dresses for an easy transition into the cooler months. Microwaves, storage bins, tool kits and other dorm room must-haves are also a part of the summer clearance sales.
8. Follow your favorite shopping sites on social media. Be the first to know about special offers from your favorite retailers and shopping sites. Some retailers may offer exclusive back to school discount codes or coupons.
9. Buy in bulk. Pencils, markers, printer paper and other supplies are always in high demand. Spend a little more money now and buy large quantities, which will save you money when you need them later in the year.
10. Personalize. Jazz up inexpensive, plain school supplies such as notebooks and folders with stickers. Let your student get creative and personalize her items so they don’t get mixed up with other students’ supplies. There’s a better chance you won’t have to spend money on lost items later in the year.