With a new school year getting ready to begin and an economy that has many family budgets already stretched pretty tightly, most parents are looking for ways to save as much as possible on their back to school shopping. From coats to calculators, there are many ways that you can provide everything that your children need for school without breaking the bank. The following are some tips that you can use to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.
*Clean out the children’s closets and dressers. See what items they have that are still in good condition and fit them well. Make a list of the items that can be used for another year and determine what they will need to add to them to make complete outfits. To keep the fashion forward student pleased, you may be able to accessorize many of last year’s items to keep them at the pinnacle of this year’s styles.
*Check last year’s supplies. Many items do not need to be purchased every year. Rulers, binders, pencil pouches or boxes, calculators, compasses, pencil sharpeners, and other items such as these will probably be just as functional this year as they were last year. Backpacks and lunchboxes may also be able to be re-used.
*Go to the consignment and thrift stores in your area for some of the children’s school clothes. Kids grow very quickly and often, you can find items that are in like new condition. Second hand shops are especially good places to get the items that tend to cost more than other things, such as winter coats.
*Do your supply shopping throughout the summer. There is no need to do all of your supply shopping in one trip. By gathering the kids’ supplies throughout the summer, you will be able to get the best deals when the various items go on sale.
*Watch the sale ads in your newspaper. Retailers want to see their sales boosted during the summer season, when they know that families are going to be out shopping for the school year. Because of this, they will be competing for your business and giving you the best motivators that they can, in order to get you in the door. Be sure that you are paying attention to the advertising so that you will be able to take advantage of the best deals.
*Pay attention to rebate offers and take advantage of them. Many stores will offer rebates that encourage consumers to buy items that aren’t technically on sale, thus getting them to pay full price in the anticipation of getting some, or even all, of their money returned to them. They can do this because they know that most people who buy these items won’t remember to send in their rebate.
*Get the supply list for your child’s school district. Don’t go to the store assuming that you know what will be on the list. You might end up buying items that your children don’t need at all.
*Become familiar with the rules of the school district regarding items that are forbidden. There are often strict dress code policies that parents must be aware of today, especially regarding insignias on clothing or backpacks. If you purchase something that isn’t allowed to be in the school, this is a real waste of your money.
*Avoid the hype of character items. Pencils are still pencils, whether they have Spongebob Squarepants characters on them or not. You might want to allow your child to pick a couple of items that are decorated with whatever they wish for them to be, but after that, if you continue to be sucked into these character school supplies, you are going to be spending a small fortune on supplies alone.
*Look online and at yard sales for high priced electronics, such as scientific calculators, that schools may require in the higher grades. These items can run over one hundred dollars and are just fine to get secondhand. If you have older children who have used these items, have them pass them on down to their younger siblings.
Shopping for the school year doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you are looking for ways to save some of your hard-earned money while getting your children the items that they need to start another academic year, follow the above tips. You will find that your savings will be substantial.