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Did you know that back to school is the second biggest shopping season of the year? You don’t have to spend a fortune every year though! Here are some tips on how you can save some cash on back to school shopping.
Make a cup of tea, grab your kid’s school supply list (if you don’t have one, you can get an idea over here) and a calendar. Sit down and start making some calculations. Make sure to include the school uniform and anything extra your child might need. Have a look at your calendar and try to predict the cost of upcoming school activities, and don’t forget to calculate teachers’ gifts! This way, you’re setting a realistic budget and you won’t be surprised by the expenses.
Stick to the list
Don’t be tempted into buying extra supplies that aren’t on the supply list the school/teacher gives you. They probably will never get used, no matter how cute they may be!
Use cashback sites
If you’re going to buy something online, go to a cashback site (I highly recommend Ebates) and click to the company you want to buy from. You will literally get cash back when you make an online purchase!
Do you really need to buy that?
Have a look at your kid’s school supply list and see if there are things you already have at home. If your child’s backpack can make it a couple more months, wait a bit before replacing them. Remember, shops usually have sales on these kinds of items after school starts! Also, check if the uniform still fits before buying another one. If not, you can always sell it, unless a sibling is going to use it in the future. This way, you’ll have a clearer picture of what you actually need to buy.
Shop at second hand stores
You can find a huge number of books being sold second hand, and they’re usually in great condition! You also do this with school uniforms and other school supplies.
Do some price comparison. Some shops will have the same items at double the price! Also, check prices online, find deals, or see if it’s cheaper to buy in bulk. Buying the basics from supermarkets might be cheaper too!
Focus on the big stuff
Chrissy Pate, co-author of Be CentsAble: How to Cut Your Household Budget in Half (€13,23 for Book Debository), recommends focusing on finding the best prices for the most expensive items on your list. “Don’t worry so much about what the prices of the crayons or the pencils are because you’re going to find pretty good deals everywhere on those,” she says. “You’ll save the most money on those big items, as well as time and gas money.” Save with coupons, deals, weekly specials and sales.
If you find a good deal on something your child will be using for years to come (like pencils and pens), don’t let it pass you by. Store them in a drawer until you need them.
Before heading out with your kids for school supply shopping, set limits with them on your budget. They might want the most high end, expensive backpack or trainers. You can give them a choice of one or two items that are a bit more pricey, but after that the rest will be bought at bargain prices. It’s important to teach kids the value of money and the importance of money management when they are young, this way they will grow up to understand and appreciate these values.
Sometimes it pays to spend more
Taking care of your money is definitely important, but sometimes buying that cheap backpack can backfire! Make sure the quality of the product you’re buying is good. It’s no use buying something cheap if it’s not even going to last you through the year!
Go for DIY
There are a couple of school supplies you can do yourself! Apart from saving you money, these can be a lot of fun for both you and your kid! Check these back to school DIY projects here!
Like your favourite stores on Facebook so you never miss a sale, deal or contest!
How to pack lunches
Use cloth napkins, reusable lunch boxes/snack bags and cutlery instead of napkins, paper bags/plastic baggies and plastic cutlery. By time, you’re saving money by doing this.