Back-to-School Shopping Tips

School supplies on a chalkboard background

It’s back-to-school season…wait, what happened to summer? Either way, school is just around the corner. That doesn’t mean you need to break your budget. Here’s six back-to-school shopping tips to get you started.

1. Take inventory

Don’t set foot in a single store without first checking to see what you have at home. Keep a running list of everything you find so you know exactly what you have before you spend anything on new supplies and clothing. 

2. Grab the essentials

Most schools will send home a list of needed supplies. You may also need to purchase other school necessities. Now’s a good time to look at your child’s backpack or clothing and assess what needs replacing for the upcoming school year. It’s best to start out with a list and search out the best deals. You’ll be less likely to overspend and come home with stuff you don’t really need.

3. Look for quality products

Many stores and sales promote a variety of low-cost back-to-school supplies. However, they’re not all the same quality. In some instances, spending more on certain products like, markers and crayons may cost more in the beginning, but lasts longer and save you money.

4. Divide and conquer

From brick and mortar stores to online shopping, the circulars are packed with specials on school supplies all summer long. The issue is that, while one store is offering a super-low deal on crayons this week, another is running a super sale on pencils – and the stores are across town from each other. Keep your savings, and your sanity, by teaming up with another school parent. One of you can go pick up the crayons at half-price in one store, the other can load up on marked-down pencils at another.

5. Let your kids choose some items on their own

Teach your kids a lesson in budgeting by allowing them to shop for one or more of the costlier items they need from the list. Set a reasonable budget together, but let your child do the actual choosing and paying. Encourage thriftiness by offering your child to keep the change. 

6. Save some stuff for later

There’s no need to purchase a complete autumn wardrobe before Labor Day. Waiting a bit for the mid-season sales will save you a ton of money. It’s back-to-school shopping season, but that doesn’t mean you need to go broke! Cash in on savings with these tips and get your shopping done without breaking your budget.