Whether that makes your child excited or sad, financially its a very significant time. According to the National Retail Federation, families spend an average of $688 on their children during this time.
While that may be what the majority is spending, that doesn’t have to be you. There are lots of great ways to save money on back to school shopping. And in this post, I’m going to share 9 of my favorite ways how you can get some great deals and still be ready for that big first day.
1-Buy what you need in bulk.
Back-to-school shopping time is the perfect opportunity to stock up on all the supplies you’ll need throughout the year on the cheap.
For example: Notebooks and folders that will usually cost you a few dollars in a few months will now only cost you a few cents. Therefore, if you know that you will use multiples of them throughout the year (on obvious stuff like notebooks, paper or pens), then buy in bulk! That way when you need another supply half-way through the year, you can just grab one from your stash and avoid paying full price.
2-Don’t buy the stuff you don’t need.
It’s very easy to walk around the back-to-school section and think to yourself that you need everything you see. Every pencil, pair of scissors, glue-stick, and calculator that they have to offer.
But stick to your list! If your child’s teacher doesn’t require it, and you don’t really need the item, then pass on buying it.
3-Stick to the generics.
Though it can be tempting to get school supplies with cute pictures on them, ask yourself if the extra cost is really worth it.
For example, the last time I was in Walmart, and saw regular notebooks for $0.49 or “cute” one for $2. It’s just a notebook … Save some money and go generic.
4-Shop for clothes with discount retailers.
Should you hit the mall when it comes to find new clothes? Only if it contains: Old Navy, TJ Maxx, or Children’s Place.
We always seem to do the most amount damage for the least amount of money at these three places. Why? Because they rotate their stock often and everything always seems to be either marked down or on clearance. Definitely some good buying opportunities!
5-Stick to a list with clothes.
Clothing is one of those areas where you can get really carried away with back-to-school shopping if you’re not careful. Between all the new shirts, jeans, sports wear, shoes, and coats that are available, you could spend a small fortune just to update your child’s wardrobe.
Don’t do that! Instead, make a list of the clothing that you actually need. Not what you want, but what you need. That way you’ll force yourself to only buy the things you actually need. For example: Do you really need a new coat? Or will the coat from last year work fine? What about your jeans?
Remember also that just because its back-to-school time that you don’t have to buy each piece of clothing right away. There’s really no pressure. Though there will be some deals and sales, chances are those same deals and sales will still be available next week or even the following month. (Stores always throw sales!)
6-Invest in a good coat.
Speaking of coats, this is one piece of clothing I would not recommend skimping on. A nice high-quality one can last you easily 2 years if you take good care of it. And that will save you money in comparison to buying two cheap ones per year. Plus nicer coats have a better re-sale quality (see tip #8).
When you’re on the fence between sizes, always go towards the bigger option. That way there will be room to grow. Also go with a color that’s very neutral (such as black or grey) unless your child really loves a particular color.
7-Save on your backpack.
Forget paying full retail price for backpacks. Over the years, we’ve found a lot of great options to save more money.
Discount and outlet store have been really helpful. For example: It’s pretty common to find premium name-brand backpacks like NorthFace or Columbia at a place like TJ Maxx. We’ve also had good luck going to an outlet store such as Columbia.
I’ve even seen places like Goodwill get new backpacks in during back to school time and sell them for next to nothing. It just depends on the quality of material they happen to get at the store.
8-Shop from your friends.
Mom-to-mom sales over Facebook and other social media are more popular than ever! And that can be your opportunity to find a great deal.
Keep an eye on your social media feed and look to see if anyone is selling their children’s old clothes for cheap. We’ve sold coats that our kids have outgrown for $10 that originally cost us probably $100 or less. And they still look practically brand new!
9-Do a swap.
If you’ve got family or friends with kids that are roughly about the same age as yours, why not do a swap for clothes? Getting “new to you” clothes for practically nothing can be a great way to save money on back to school shopping. Plus it gets your house clean by getting rid of the stuff you don’t need anymore!
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay