Three simple words have the power to make parents want to hide under their beds… back to school.
Of course there are wonderful parts to the approaching school year. It’s comforting to get back into your routines and see your children continue their educational growth. But getting your kids ready for school requires shopping. A lot of shopping!
From new clothes to school supplies, your to-do list is probably pretty extensive. Here are some tips to help you save money and conquer your back to school budget.
Browse for Deals Online
As soon as you get the list of required school supplies for the new school year, you may be tempted to run out to the store and get it all done it one shot. Though you may save a little time by shopping for everything in one place, you’ll probably end up spending more money.
Before you hit the stores, do a little research. Look to see what stores or online retailers have the best deals on each item.
Make a list of the best place to buy or order each item for maximum savings. Don’t forget to look for coupons and promotion codes! For in-store shopping, Florida’s tax-free holiday is always a smart time to shop.
Use Rewards Points for School Supplies
Free school supplies are the holy grail of saving money on back to school purchases. They do exist if you know where to look!
If you earn reward points through your credit cards or debit cards, check to see if there are school supplies available. You may be able to use your rewards points for basic supplies like crayons and notebooks or more expensive needs like laptops or tablets.
Organize a Swap Party
Another way to get school items without spending any money is to organize a swap party with other parents. This sort of event is simple to plan and can be a fun way to kick off the school year.
Everyone brings clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes or other school items that their own kids have outgrown or no longer need. Then you can have fun swapping items! Consider including a potluck picnic so guests can enjoy snacks while they trade.
Even if you only end up with a few things, those small savings can add up in the long run.
Buy in Bulk
When you have kids in school, there are certain items that you will by over and over again throughout the year. Things like paper and writing utensils are always needed, so they may be worth buying in bulk.
Bulk shopping can also lead to potential group savings with a little planning. If you have other parents who have kids in the same grade as yours, consider going in on bulk purchases together if it will save you money.
For example, if you can get a great deal on 100 packs of paper and have a group of five parents, you can split the cost five ways and each get 20 packs of paper.
Let Your Kids Personalize Supplies
A simple way to save money is to stick to the basic versions of school supplies. A plain folder will often cost less than one with Moana or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all over it.
Consider buying basic school supplies, then letting your children make them their own with personalized decorations. You can even incorporate their favorite characters by printing out photos they can collage or buying one set of stickers that they can use to decorate all of their supplies.
What are your favorite tips for saving money on school supplies? Let us know on Facebook!