How to Get Your School Shopping Done Without Going Broke
Our family of five is full of three “little people” who every Fall happen to send us to the poorhouse based on their needs for school. Each year the school supply list gets longer, the uniform policy seems to get more expensive, and our household budget seems to shrink. We especially seem to feel the tightness when it comes to Back to School Shopping.
My preteen wants the new expensive clothes while his school supply list reminds me of what is expected in a college classroom. My two toddlers are growing like weeds. And many times I’m having, not only, to buy new uniforms, but their supply lists are exhaustive as well.
Here are some ways to keep your school shopping on the economic side.
- Buy clothes off season. Even though school starts in the Fall, I always try to buy clothing ahead of time””especially when items are on clearance. For example, since fall is right around the corner I buy all of the summer clearance clothes now. I buy the clothing bigger than the kid’s current size to account for growth spurts and I keep receipts in case a size is skipped over. When school is about to start, I may have to go out to buy a couple of new items and shoes, but the majority of my clothes shopping is done.
- Buy your school supplies in bulk when those Back to School Sales are on. Right around the beginning of August, stores across the nation start advertising ridiculously low prices for supplies. You may be able to get .10 cent folders or .50 pack of paper— stock up on it at those prices. For months during the school year, I keep a closet full of school supplies so that I can restock my kid’s supplies.
- Take advantage of Tax Free Weekend in your respective states. Many times this is the time of year where major purchases (computers, laptops, Ipads) must be purchased. If you wait for “Tax Free” weekend, then you can ensure that you get a good amount of money taken off since you do not have to pay taxes. For example, I bought a computer during one of these weekends and I saved over $200!
- Check your local sale papers and online advertisements at least once a week. Every week these stores are running ads for savings””if you don’t look one week that could hit you hard in the wallet. Every Sunday morning I get up and peruse the sales ads and then make lists based on what is on sale. This prevents me from having buyers remorse when I miss a good sale and allows me to restock my supply closet.
In the end, it takes a lot of planning to save money during this time of year. Take your time, research what you need and hit the store with a list and a clear mind for what you need to buy.
BMWK – Does it seem like the school supply list is getting out of hand? Do you buy everything that is on that list? Do your kids get new clothes for back to school? Share some of your tips for saving money when back- to- school shopping?