It’s time again to start stocking up on school supplies for the upcoming school year. Unfortunately, back-to-school shopping can be expensive, especially if you’re unprepared. With the cost of education continuing to rise, saving money wherever you can is more important than ever. Luckily, you can follow a few simple tips to ensure you get the best deals and save as much money as possible on your back-to-school shopping.
Comb Through Your Current Supplies
Before you even start shopping for new supplies, take inventory of what you already have. You may be surprised at how much you have on hand from previous years. Go through your desk, children’s older backpacks, and any other storage areas where you keep your school supplies and set aside anything that can be reused. For example, many teachers send pencil boxes and personal notebooks back home with the kids after the school year is complete. Not only will these reusable items save you money, but they’ll also help reduce the amount of waste you produce.
Check The Dollar Store
Before you head to the big box stores, look at your local dollar store. You can often find the same supplies for a fraction of the price. For example, a pack of pencils at the dollar store might cost $1.25, while the same pack of pencils at a major retailer could cost $5 or more. The dollar store typically carries all the essential supplies you’ll need for the school year, so it’s worth checking out before you start shopping.
Consider Thrift Shopping
Thrift shopping is a great way to save money and get the supplies you need for school. You can often find gently used or even new items for a fraction of the retail price. Plus, you’ll be supporting a good cause when you thrift shop. Many thrift stores donate proceeds to charity, so you can feel good about your purchase while saving money.
Take Advantage Of Sales Tax Holidays
Depending on where you live, you may be able to take advantage of sales tax holidays. These are typically held in the summer and allow shoppers to purchase specific items without paying sales tax. This can be a great way to save money on back-to-school shopping, especially if you take advantage of it early in the season.
Compare Prices Online
Before you make any purchases, be sure to compare prices online. Many websites and apps allow you to do this easily and quickly, such as camelcamelcamel , a price tracker for Amazon. This will help ensure you get the best deal possible on the items you need.
Take Advantage Of Cashback Apps
Several apps offer cash back on your purchases. These can be a great way to save money, especially if you’re planning on doing a lot of shopping. Some popular cashback apps include Ebates, Ibotta, and Shopkick. Be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully before signing up for any of these apps, as they typically have requirements you’ll need to meet to get the cashback.
Keep Your Receipts
It’s always a good idea to keep your receipts while shopping, but it’s vital when you’re back-to-school shopping. This way, if you find a better deal on an item later, you can usually get a price adjustment or refund. Many stores have policies that allow you to get a refund or exchange within a specific timeframe, so check the store’s policy before making your purchase.
Take Advantage Of Sales After School Starts
If you can wait to do your back-to-school shopping, you may be able to take advantage of sales that happen after school starts. Many stores mark down prices on school supplies once the school year has begun, so you may be able to get what you need for a fraction of the cost. Of course, you’ll need to be prepared to do some of your shopping mid-semester, but saving money can be worth it. This is where last year’s left-over supplies come in handy, helping bridge the gap until you find these sales.
Take Advantages Of Community Center Resources
With schools relying more on online education, many households don’t necessarily have regular access to the internet and wi-fi. However, many community centers across the country provide resources like wi-fi and laptops to help with this digital divide. They also may have resources like school supplies, so it’s always worth checking in with your local community center to see what they offer. Libraries are also great places to access free wi-fi. In addition, the pandemic highlighted the need for wi-fi access. If you are unsure where to access the wi-fi, call your child’s school district, and they can direct you where to access the internet. In some cases, grants help families get the wi-fi they need to ensure their child can learn from home.
Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. Following these simple tips can save money and get the best deals on the supplies you need. So, take a deep breath, relax, and happy shopping!
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