5 Tips for Frugal Back to School Shopping
Whether your child is starting first grade or heading off to college, back-to-school time can wreak havoc on your wallet. Here are a few simple tips that I've used to help keep us on track as a new school year begins.
5 Tips For Back to School Shopping
Planning is the best way to get the most for your time and money. Before you head out, take inventory of what you already have. For instance, you may find an unused notebook lying around, or a stash of pencils that were not used last year.
Make a List of What You Need
After seeing what you do have, formulate a list of the items they needand start prioritizing.
How much have your children grown?
What clothing do they need and what do they want?
They may want certain items, but as you go through their current clothing and supplies they may have items that will carry them through part of the year and you can postpone purchasing.
Depending on their age, ask your children to get involved in this process. Setting a limit on the dollar amount for purchasing new clothing can help determine which items are truly important. As my kids got older I gave them an amount to spend on new clothing for school. I would help them make choices based on what they wanted, needed, and what they could afford. It was a great lesson in learning to stay within a budget and also prioritizing needs versus wants.
For traditional school supplies, this approach also works well.
Search for Savings
This is my favorite part. I am a frugal shopper at heart! Look for store coupons and sales in your local newspaper. On Sundays, you'll find ad supplements filled with store savings for the upcoming week. Once you've compared prices from store to store and found the best deals on the items that you need, you'll be ready to shop. Honestly, if you do this shopping a week at a time for a few weeks, you can grab those loss-leader items super cheap. Packs of pencils for a penny...yep, I am in!
You'll often find the best prices on school items online. Don't forget to check Amazon as well as eBay for items that may be pricier. Expensive calculators, bags, notebooks, and computers can be found even cheaper if you do a bit of research. If you buy online don't forget to use sites like Ebates and BigCrumbs to get cash-back savings too!
Stick to the List
Only buy the items that are on the list of necessities that you created before you started shopping. The exception is to buy larger quantities of those items you know will be used. Don't impulse buy!
Getting your family geared up for a successful school year takes some preparation. If you are looking for more tools to accomplish this not-so-easy, time consuming task, check out. The Confident Moms Back 2 School Survival Guide. Take $2 off the guide until August 20 with code FORWARD entered at checkout!
How do you avoid spending to much during Back-to-School time?
Susan Heid is the mom behind The Confident Mom where she loves inspiring Christian moms to make small changes managing their home and family life giving them more time, less stress and stronger family relationships! She enthusiastically wears the hat of mom, step-mom and foster mom to 4 awesome kids ages 20, 16, 12 and 3; is married to her very own prince charming, loves coffee, cloudy days, and does think the bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle. Make sure to sign up for her FREE 5 part mini-parenting series, Becoming a Calm, Cool, Confident Mom The Opening Act delivered right to your inbox.