A new year of school is just around the corner. For parents and children across the country, this means getting ready for the new school year with some back to school shopping.
Back to school shopping consists of many things. For most families, it means stocking up on basic school supplies and buying a few sets of new clothing. It can mean purchasing special supplies for classes that have extra requirements. It can also mean loading up on food items for packed lunches for the first week or two of the year.
If you’re a parent, then you probably know that back to school shopping can get expensive. All of the necessities can really pile on top of each other and add up by the time you’re done. Luckily, there are several ways that you can limit what you spend while stocking up. Below are five frugal tips for back to school shopping that will help you keep this year’s rush to the store well within your budget.
Taking inventory before starting to shop is the best way to be frugal when back to school shopping this season. Knowing what you need and what you don’t need will save you both time and money. It will also cut back on unnecessary purchases.
Ask your kids to round up any of their old school supplies from last year. While they’re doing this, check out their closets and see what their clothes situation is like. Is most of it in good condition? Have they grown a lot this year? Ask your kids these same questions. Just get a feel for what you’re going to have to dish some money out on.
Make a List
Shopping without a list is a surefire way to spend more money than you need to. So make a list before you head out school shopping. Look at the items that you have assembled during your inventory. What is missing that your kids will need? Add this to your list.
Take note of clothing items that may last a little longer and refrain from adding them to your list. The key is making use of what you have. Pushing a few purchases off for a few months (for things like winter jackets and boots) can help you spread your money out.
Set a Budget
It is a good idea to set up a budget for school shopping before setting out. Make a budget plan that you know will cover everything you need but that will still be challenging to work under.
Depending on the age of your children, you might want them to get involved in this process. By giving them a dollar amount to work within, you can teach them money management skills while also letting them pick out the new duds that they want to dress in.
Depending on your needs, be sure to include things like these in your school shopping budget plan:
- Notebook Paper
The Internet is a great tool to help you be frugal during the back to school shopping season. Online stores like Amazon and Etsy have a lot of amazing deals. Even big chain stores will have stellar deals on both clothing and supplies on the online versions of their stores. EBay is also a great place to look for pricier items like calculators, backpacks, and computers.
Search Out the Best Deals
Taking the time to search out the best deals in town will save you loads of money on your back to school shopping this year. Look around in each store in your local area and compare prices. You will no doubt find that some stores offer much cheaper items than others.
You should also keep your eyes open for store coupons in your local newspaper or as mailers in your mailbox. These can help you save a few quick bucks without requiring any time on your part!
So – that’s all there is to it! As you can see, shopping for school supplies doesn’t have to break the bank. By following the five tips discussed above: taking inventory, making a list, setting a budget, looking online, and searching out the best deals, you can definitely be frugal while stocking up for school.
When the bell rings for the first day, your kids will be more than prepared!