Five Smart Tips For Back-To-School Shopping
It's August, which means it's time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping. Recently the website NerdWallet gave some great pointers!
So if you've got kids, here are five tips to save you some money:
1. Shop on tax-free holidays. If you live in Louisiana, this tip sucks for us because we don't have a tax-free day for school supplies! COME ON MAN, our Governor's wife is a teacher! But our neighbors to the west, Texas, has one coming up next week August 10-12. (Check out whether your state participates here.)
2. Splurge strategically. According to a recent survey, 66% of parents admit to splurging on clothes during back-to-school shopping and 50% splurge on school supplies. But spending a ton on pens or the latest fashion doesn't make sense.
Instead, spend where it counts on the things that last for awhile. A high-quality backpack or laptop can last your high school kid until college.
My son Elijah has a few supplies that we are able to reuse this year, like his pencil bag, his backpack, and some binders. My daughter Khloe, on the other hand, is extremely rough on her stuff. Not one thing is reusable, lol. I still think I should market the "K-Rex" Seal Of Approval for products that last with her, which the list is small.
3. Price match before and after shopping. Price matching is where you compare the price of an item at several stores and ask them to match a lower price. And 10% of parents never do it.
Also, if you have the Walmart mobile app you can scan your receipt and they will give you back the difference if a competitor has it cheaper.
We chose to get some of our school supplies from Dollar Tree this year. You have got to be careful not to get carried away with the fact that everything is a dollar in the store because on most items you can get them cheaper somewhere else. But we saved money on hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, dry erase markers, manila folders, facial tissues, etc...
4. Team up to buy in bulk. Those classroom supply lists can get pretty long, and lots of other parents have the exact same list. So team up with other parents in your child's class, and purchase the supplies in bulk.
We've never done this, but I'm sure you can link up with several parents who would be willing to go in with you on the Facebook groups that are for your kid's school.
5. Wait to buy some items. Your kid doesn't need a brand new wardrobe or a year's worth of supplies on the first day. My daughter is very petite (I don't know where she got that gene from) and he has several shirts and skirts she still fits in. So that helped out with buying her fewer clothes this year.
By waiting on some purchases, you can spread the cost across several months and possibly get better prices.
Luckily, every August we have a great support system with our kids' grandparents, who help us monetarily to get the supplies we need. We know we are blessed, but not everyone is in the situation we are in. So I hope these tips help you prepare for this school year.
Also, here are some back-to-school shopping pointers from one of my favorite YouTubers, The Melea Show. She always posts videos with great tips on how to save money on a variety of topics.