It’s not Black Friday, but back to school shopping ranks up there as one of the busiest times of the year. Whether it’s second grade or college, getting your kids ready for school is a job within itself. There are so many things to consider. Clothes, notebooks, backpacks, books…the list goes on and on. Just as with anything else, this shopping trip, or trips are not going to be cheap. It’s estimated that parents will spend an average of $650 a year per child on school supplies alone! But, if you do your homework, you could go to the head of the class when it comes to discovering deals. It’s time to take notes to ace your back to school shopping test.
Back to School Shopping Tip #1: The Early Bird Gets the Sale
“If I just wait a little longer, it will be cheaper.” Do you know how many times I’ve said this? Do you know how many times I’ve waited only to not be able to find what I needed? If you see something your child needs and it’s on sale, grab it! Waiting will not guarantee a cheaper price. When it comes to shopping for school clothes, especially uniforms, many stores offer great deals in the middle of July. When they say “lowest price of the season” they mean it. Buy early to save money and avoid dealing with all the stress.
Back to School Shopping Tip #2: Online Offers
When it comes to finding back to school shopping deals, your computer may be your best friend. This is especially the case when it comes to school supplies. Check out Amazon and places like Office Depot for online deals. You may want to stock up for the year on things like notebooks and pens if they are on sale now. Your wallet will thank you come February.
Back to School Shopping Tip #3: Tax Free Frenzy
Many states offer a tax-free week during the month of August. Check the rules and see if it will be worth it for you. Some states’ offers are based on per item purchases rather than total purchases. You also need to check what the price caps are when it comes to back to school tax free shopping. There’s some math involved here. Tax free week can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Back to School Shopping Tip #4: There’s an App for That
Let technology be your super-saving BFF. Apps like Retail Me Not and Shopkick can add savings on top of savings. Simply search for the store you’re going to and see if they are offering any sales. If you find something that works for you, the cashier just has to scan your phone. Apps can really help give you an A+ in savings 101.
Back to School Shopping Tip #5: Rent Don’t Buy
This tip is for parents with college aged kids. College book prices are crazy, simply put. Instead of buying them outright, there are many online sites you can go to so you can rent your books for the semester. This is great for those core courses that your child may not necessarily be into all that much. I certainly wish this was around when I was going to college!
There are deals to be had in the back to school shopping frenzy. You just need to keep your eyes open before opening your wallet too wide. Happy Shopping!