The ABC’s of Back-To-School Savings

back-to-schoolMany people don’t want to think about back to school yet, especially while in the peak of summer.  However, back to school shopping can creep up on you quickly, so it pays to be prepared.  The best way to save money is to start planning early in order to get the biggest bang for your buck.

A scavenger hunt

You might already have plenty of school supplies lying around your house, send the kids on a scavenger hunt to round it all up and put it in a central location.  Don’t forget to check last year’s backpacks!

Back-to-school swap

So you have a backpack or lunchbox from last year that can handle another school year but your child doesn’t want to use it again?  Host an annual supply swap with other moms.  You could save a bundle!

Create a list

Most schools have already published their supply list and have either posted it on the school’s website or made it available at your local retailer.  Don’t forget to cross off any items that you already have or that you swapped for.

Buy basic

While it’s tempting to buy the cute and trendy items, stick to the basics and let the kids add their own personal touch.  For example, use duct tape or a photo collage to decorate an inexpensive, plain white binder.  This is a tip that I’m going to try with my own kids this year.  Let their creative juices flow!

Sale, sale, sale

Watch for sales!  Back-to-school is the second biggest shopping season of the year so retailers are eager to make it count, you should too.  Feel free to jump on the coupon bandwagon; all the smart kids are doing it!  Don’t forget to save your receipts as many stores offer a price adjustment if you bought an item that goes on sale shortly after your purchase (usually within 14 days).  Simply show your receipt and the store will refund you the difference.

I hope that with these tips and suggestions, you can breeze through the back-to-school shopping season and enjoy the final remnants of summer!

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