How to Save Money on Back-to-School Items

 

Back To School? Can I Cope With the Cost?

With the school year ended and a new one soon to begin, a lot of parents thoughts will turn to buying Back to School supplies over the coming weeks. This time of year can be very expensive as it can be difficult to spread the cost of buying supplies, especially uniform or school wear as kids can grow so quickly. There are a number of things that you can do to try and reduce cost however, and even if not all are possible, even a small amount saved can be a big help.

Top Money Saving Tricks

1. Try and buy essential items such as stationery when on special offer. Lots of stores have sales on throughout the year where items are reduced, sometimes by up to 50%. Towards the end of the school season, clothing and footwear are also reduced in some stores to make way for the new stock. If you think your child might have a growth spurt over the summer, buy the next size up. If they don’t, at least you know they’ll always grow into it plus it will last even longer! Try and read the Sunday sale flyers. The large stores have ‘loss leaders’ that they use to entice you into the store which change every week. If you only buy the items when on offer you will save a considerable amount versus full retail price.

2. Consider second hand items. Children have a tendency to outgrow their clothes very quickly, meaning that the second hand market can be full of good condition clothing at a fraction of the price. If you have friends with older children ask for hand me downs or search craigslist or local goodwill stores. If you have a group of friends with children of different ages, you could organize a swap meet, where you take your children’s outgrown clothes and swap them for something new. If you have a local free-cycle group, try asking to see if anybody has anything they’re willing to give away.

3. Always check prices online. Search Amazon or PriceGrabber to find the best price. Savings can be huge and you can often get better quality products for a lower price. Search Google for discount codes and if you’re a student, check to see if the site offers a student discount. If you prefer not to buy online, check to see if the store will price match. Big stores such as Walmart and Target often do match special offers found online plus you won’t have to wait for delivery or pay delivery charges. Another way of hearing about special offers is through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The majority of large companies now have an account and they often use them to offer special deals to anyone that ‘likes’ their page on Facebook, or retweets their post on Twitter. If you have a smartphone, check to see if they have an app or any downloadable money off coupons.

4. Check to see whether you can reuse anything from last year. Good quality school bags will often last for several years without needing to be replaced. Try to buy plain bags rather than ones with characters on. Children’s taste changes so often that it’s much easier to customize their bag with removable stickers or badges. Also, review your child’s wardrobe before buying new things. They may have items that are still suitable from last year. Don’t buy unnecessary items just so they have something new to go back to school in. Sometimes if you wait until the back to school rush is over you can pick up marked down items in the fall as the stores need the shelf space for holiday items.

5. Only buy what you need. Some retailers will get into a price war in a bid to entice you into the store and spend all the money you’ve saved in a different department! Don’t fall into the trap. Write a list of what you need and stick to it. Always do your research into which store is the cheapest before leaving home to avoid overspending by accident.

6. Don’t economize too much. Sometimes in an effort to save a few dollars it’s easy to overlook the fact that quality items do cost more, but will last longer. Why buy something for ten dollars that will need replacing after 3 months, when by spending twenty you can get something that will last for a year?

This article is written by Agnese Geka. She is a blogger and online marketing executive for SurveyCompare.net – leading guide through market research companies offering to earn extra money and gift vouchers by sharing your opinion online.

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