It’s that time again! Yes, you’ve guessed it, back-to-school shopping. Even the most prepared shopper who has kids going back to school can experience stress during this time of year. The majority of parents end up going way over budget with back to school shopping, and this is not necessary. A survey conducted by The National Retail Federation, found that families with children in k-12 plan to spend an average $687.72 each. Find out how to become a back-to-school shopping pro, while saving money too.
Shop at home
You’ve received the official shopping list from your child’s teacher, and normally you would head right to the store and prepare for the long lines and crowded aisles. Instead, start at home and sort through school supplies that were leftover from the previous year. You’ll be surprised by how many items you can cross off the list. Re-use binders, sharpen pencils and dust off notebooks. If you know any parents with kids in the same age group, consider hosting a fun back-to-school get-together and have everyone bring extra school supplies. Older siblings often have leftover supplies that can still be used, as well.
Go for those summer sales
Be on the lookout for summer sales even after school starts. Most stores have a BOGO deal around this time, and you can even save the free item for next year or use for a sibling. It never hurts to stalk up on supplies like paper, pens, and pencils. No matter what age, these will always be used by students.
Play an educational game
Your kids will try to persuade you over and over again to buy the cute notebook with the Ninja Turtles or Frozen characters on it. Instead of turning them down or caving in right away, make back-to-school shopping an educational experience. Before going into the store, tell them their budget. No matter what they pick, remind them of their budget. They can have the notebook with Frozen on it or the pencil case but not both. This will help your family refrain from spending extra money on items that can be bought much cheaper. It will also teach them basic addition and subtraction. It’s never too early to make sure your child understands the value of money, and this will be a great way to get them prepared for school.
Invest in what matters
If your child is just starting school, it’s a good idea to invest in items such as backpacks, lunchboxes, and shoes. It’s better to spend $50 on a durable backpack rather than spending $25 every year on a not-so sturdy one. Shoe shopping can turn into an all-day ordeal. If your child finds a pair of shoes they like and they happen to be on sale, buy two. One in their current size and the other one size bigger. This will save you from having to make multiple trips to the shoe store while saving from the sale.
Instead of dreading back-to-school shopping, go prepared, and see how much money you will end up saving. Sending the kids off to school will seem like a breeze!