For parents, the start of a new school year can be very expensive. New clothing, school fees and school supplies can pose a financial burden. However, there are ways to reduce the costs and get more for your back to school buck.
Make a list, check it twice
Try to go shopping without your children so that you only get the supplies stipulated on their lists. Each school will issue a list of required supplies that you should stick to. Start by shopping online. You can get most supplies online and, if prices are better than in the stores, you may be able to save some money. Ensure that shipping costs are less than your travel costs to the store.
If shipping costs are too high, compare the prices online of stores in your area. Mark on your list which stores to go to for the various items. Keep the list in your car and try to stop in at stores when you are in the area. Not making a special trip will help you to save on travel costs.
If you have friends with children, buying in bulk can be much cheaper and you can share travelling costs i.e. you can divide the school supplies list so each of you is only going to one or two stores.
Get together with neighbors and friends to swap school supplies which you have bought in bulk or have left over from previous years. This way you can maximize on bulk buys and you can swap out items which you don’t need. You can also work with other families to take advantage of ‘Buy one get one free’ offers or bulk purchase discounts.
What started as a way to reduce our impact on the environment has turned into a very popular pastime. Parents of kids who are similar in age and size get together and bring all the new or gently-used clothing that their kids don’t want. These items are swapped and shared so that your kids get a new wardrobe without you spending any money. You can also swap accessories, bags and shoes.
Coupons are a wonderful way to save and you can really reduce your costs by visiting the following sites to find coupons that you can utilize:
- Coupon Divas
- The Crazy Coupon Lady
- Bargain Briana
- Common Sense with Money
- Coupon Cravings
- Deal Catcher
- Retail Me Not
If you want to save money on the go, there are smartphone apps that help you to find bargains on your back to school supplies. You can also use these apps in stores that offer price matches. Simply find items cheaper elsewhere and show the cashier the ad on your phone so that they can match the price. This will really save on time and travel expenses as you don’t have to go to more than one shop.
Here are some of the apps you can use: