Time to put the swim suits up and take the back packs out because it’s back to school time.
However, for some families this can be a difficult time of the year. If you are struggling to keep afloat financially school shopping can be very daunting.
From supplies to clothes to shoes for recess these items can get expensive. A solid spending plan and a budget can help conquer those back to school shopping expenses. Don’t let the piggy bank get drained this school season.
Below find some back-to-school saving techniques I’ve been able to use over the years. I hope you can benefit from these as well.
1. Save by Shopping for Online Only Discounts
If you have unused gift cards left over from the holidays or a birthday now would be a great time to use them.
If you aren’t so lucky don’t worry you can get so lucky by visiting raise.com. This site provides gift cards to over 100 different retailers.
And guess what? You don’t pay full price for the gift card but you receive the full price once you purchase the card. How cool is that? It’s free money! I love this site! Check it out for yourself.
Ebates is a great way to shop for school and earn for the holidays. Check to see if your favorite retailer is available through this site. Then shop from them using Ebates to earn extra cash. It’s that simple.
Want to save even more? Use your raise gift card for purchases through Ebates. Double savings! Cha-ching. J
And don’t forget to check Groupon for even extra savings.
I work with a mom and she hates shopping. Who knew this was a thing – hating shopping.
She buys everything online when possible and uses Amazon religiously. They do have plenty of products at bargain prices for back to school, especially on electronics.
A personal computer verses individual laptops can be a great option if you have a house full of kids. Not only will this cut down on expenses but you can allocate screen time slots so each child won’t be in front of a screen all day long.
To get discounts on school supplies visit ezschoolsupplies.com and discountschoolsupply.com.
2. Outlet Shopping Centers Have Brand Name Clothes without The Brand Name Prices.
Outlets can be exciting especially if you have teens and/or tweens. Plenty of labels and popular stores packed into one place make up an entire outlet mall.
While they love the products you will love the prices and maybe even find a few items for yourself. Like Coach and Michael Kors outlet stores.
Outlets are especially good for sneakers and other school shoes. The one in my area has Converse, Van and Nike retailers with great discounts and sales.
Check your local listing for an outlet shopping center in your area.
3. Find Great Options At The Goodwill
Don’t frown on thrift shop shopping. Every city has a Goodwill. If you live in a rural area or just want to avoid the stores then you can shop Goodwill online.
My teenage daughter actually loves thrift shop shopping more than I do. She’s always finding great designer jeans that look practically brand new. So, don’t get discouraged if you think your kids won’t want to shop at the good ole Goodwill.
Also this can be a great option for play clothes if you’re the type of mom that has your kids change into play clothes once they get home from school.
Second hand shopping will help keep your pocket book full.
4. Use Your Credit Card Wisely To Shop For School Clothes.
Credit cards tend to get a bad rap sometimes. It really doesn’t have to be that way. Use these little plastic treasures responsibly and you will see the benefits to owning one.
Here are three easy rules to follow when using a credit card for school shopping:
- Have a limit in mind before shopping. (Choose a limit that you refuse to go over and stick to it).
- Tell your children your limit so they can hold you accountable.
- Reward yourself with a $5 or $10 gift once you finish shopping and accomplished sticking to your limit.
These three rules will help you from over spending or maxing out your credit card. Just make sure the limit is an amount that you will be able to pay off when the statement comes in or at the very least be able to pay off the bill with 2 to 3 payments in a few months.
Use your Credit card during the tax free weekend in your state to optimize your savings.
5. Layaway Can Help Keep You On Budget
Layaway allows you to pay overtime which nicely fits into a budget. It’s a great way to keep from spending too much at one time.
Kmart, Burlington and Sears are some of the retailers where I have used layaway in the past. Try it and see if it works for you.
6. Put Away Money Each Pay Period for School Shopping
Start in June or July and set aside $25 each week and you will have close to $300 by mid-August for school shopping. Set up a special savings account by having money automatically transferred from your checking account and use this account just to save for school shopping.
After school starts continue to save but use the money toward the holidays (Halloween costumes, Christmas shopping, etc).
If you can only manage $5 per week it will still equate to $40 in 2 months or $60 in 3 months. With some of the deals I share in this post you can really make that money stretch.
7. Local Churches And Other Organizations Often Give Away School Supplies, Book Bags, Brand New Shoes And More
One year in my location a church gave away free brand new shoes (still in the box) to school age children. They provided two pairs per child on a first come first serve basis. Parents had to get there early if they wanted to avoid the long line. But it was so worth it.
Another church, the following year gave away new school supplies.
The PTA can also be a useful resource when it comes to helping out. Our PTA had a school supply basket available for sale when my daughter first started middle school.
The supplies were half the price of the ones available from popular retail stores. And the money goes toward your child’s school.
You can find a lot of organizations and non-profits that give away free or discounted school supplies. Check Both off and online.
Hopefully this list will help get your kiddos back to school in style without breaking the bank.
How do you save when shopping for back to school?