It’s time to head back to school! There is something about the back-to-school time that makes us excited. It is a new start, new routines, and getting back to a more structured schedule.
But going back to school can be a real budget-buster if you don’t have a plan.
Parents know this time of year can really stretch your budget to the max. Kids need an unbelievable amount of supplies to start the year.
Fortunately, retailers know this and they offer some terrific deals to help you save time and money. It is a great time for saving on office supplies and clothes.
But how do you navigate all the sales and promotions to take advantage of the savings?
Here are 10 back-to-school tips to avoid killing your budget:
- Take Inventory – Take a look at what you already have. Look through that back-to-school list and shop from home. What do you have already that checks off the list? What can be re-purposed from previous years?
- Set a budget. What can you realistically spend? What can be bought now and what can be bought later? For example, spiral notebooks are super inexpensive because of sales. Now is the time to buy. But boxes of tissues can be bought at any time. Just buy one for now.
- Look for Doorbuster Sales. They have incredible sales on paper, crayons, etc. Stores like Staples and Office Depot are known for their sales.
- Buy in bulk. Warehouse stores have great deals on back-to-school items. Purchase bulk packages of snacks, tissues, paper towels, etc.
- Save by packing lunches. Generally cheaper and more nutritious than school lunches.
- Thrift Clothing or Clothing Swap – if your school has a uniform policy, this is a great way to save some money.
- Check out deals at the Grocery Store. Although they generally don’t have the sales of other stores, you can find some hidden bargains.
- Visit the Dollar Store. This is a great tip after the sales have ended everywhere else. The Dollar Store is a great place for low-cost supplies anytime.
- Look for coupons, discounts, or use cash-back apps.
- Sign up for alerts for your favorite stores.
Is the need for school supplies overwhelming your budget? Check out local groups, non-profits and churches who provide “Backpack Blessings” that contain many of the needed items free of charge. Facebook groups are a great way to find the organizations providing these services.