It’s that time again. The time of year that children fear while parents cheer. Just when it feels like the kids are just starting to forget what school even is, BAM! It’s time to go back to school. And, while parents surely look forward to having days at home without all of the school-age children to entertain, parents usually don’t look forward to, what has become a pseudo-holiday, back to school shopping season. All of the new school supplies and back-to-school clothes seem to add up pretty quick. With those long lists of supplies the school gives to wary parents, it makes one think: are they going back to school or packing for a trip to Mars!?! Well wary parent, fear not and look below for some tips to ease the pain of the back-to-school shopping season.
Focus on big ticket items. Let’s face it, pencils are almost literally a dime-a-dozen. Around the beginning of the school year everywhere you look you’re going to meet amazing deals on back-to-school basics like pens, pencils, and notebooks. Finding basic school supplies deals is not the challenge. That’s why you have to focus on the big ticket items, things like backpacks, graphing calculators, computers, etc. Keeping a focus on those items that are sure to cost the most means you’ll find the deals on the items that matter.
Follow your favorite stores for deals on clothes. In this age of the internet, every clothing store on earth has a website and a mailing list. While getting tons of pesky e-mails asking you to buy things can be annoying, it can also save you money. If you like to do your children’s clothes shopping at a certain store, sign up for their e-mail list; it’s only a matter of time before the deals will arrive in your inbox. With the advent of social media, finding deals at your favorite stores is even easier. Make sure you like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Invest in lunchbox. Let’s face it, paying for a hot lunch everyday at school adds up quickly. That’s why it makes sense to spend a few extra dollars at the beginning of the school year on lunch packing supplies. Make sure you buy a quality lunchbox or bag, something that will keep things hot or cold. Also spend some money on lunchbox ice packs to keep things at the right temperature. It also makes sense to spend some money on a good water bottle that can be used throughout the year. You don’t want to keep buying replacements for these items so buy quality the first time.
Hit end of summer sales. As the temperatures outside start to go down, so do prices in the stores. Take advantage of this seasonal reduction in prices to get the best deals on the things you know you’ll need for the new school year.
Stick to the list. Sometimes it’s easy to get a little carried away when buying a lot of the little things for the kids. They just seem to make things too dang cute these days. Exercise some restraint and only buy those things that they need and your wallet will thank you.
Hold off on buying trendier gear. This might be the most insightful tip on this list. Trends change fast. The coolest or trendiest pencil box at the end of the school year is probably not the coolest new thing when school starts up again in September. By holding off on buying the trendy gear for later, you can avoid your school-age child coming to you with a perfectly good school items that they want to get rid of because thy aren’t cool anymore. You do not need this headache. Do yourself a favor and wait to buy.
So parents, any other money saving ideas as we approach the start of a new school year? Share away…
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