It’s almost time to send your children back to school and this can pose a financial burden on most families as you pay school fees, buy new clothing and tick off the back to school supply list. If you start early, you can avail yourself of a number of apps and sites that have specials and coupons that can really help ease the financial strain.
Only get what you need
Start with the list that your school has issued and tick off any items you already have. Check drawers and cupboards and see what items you can reuse from last year. When you go shopping, don’t be tempted to buy items that aren’t on the list.
You can buy most of the items you need online and you can compare prices that way too. Be sure that the shipping costs are lower than traveling costs to go to the store yourself. When you compare items online, you can find the stores which sell them at the lowest price. Of course you don’t want to make a special trip to each store or the gas money will negate any savings, but keep the list handy so that if you happen to be in the area, you can pop in and get a few things. Combining your back to school shopping with other errands will also save you gas money.
You can organize to swap all your school supplies with neighbors and friends. 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.
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:
The Crazy Coupon Lady
Common Sense with Money
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:
Checkout 51 (iOS or Android)
Red Flag Deals (iOS or Android)
The Coupons App (Android, iOS)
RetailMeNot (Android, iOS)
Cartwheel by Target (Android, iOS)
ShopSavvy (Android, iOS) / RedLaser (Android, iOS)
Foursquare (Android, iOS)
Swarm (Android, iOS)Pic by Liz Latham