Good Morning everyone! I hope you are having a good week. I know that you may think that today’s post should wait a few more weeks, but since August starts tomorrow that means that the return to school is just around the corner! I know, I can’t believe it’s already getting so close! But don’t let the “Back to School” panic set in just yet – I’m going to help make this year’s Back to School shopping less stressful and cheaper than ever!
We know that money is often tight and we try to make our dollar stretch as far as it can. That’s why I wanted to share these 15 tips for getting the most for your money while back-to-school shopping this year. I hope you enjoy these tips and tricks!
- Shop at home first- Once you get the school supply list for your child’s school, you want to go through all of the school supplies you already have in your home. You will be amazed at how many items you can cross off before you even start shopping! You can use the School Supply List app to download the school supply list for your child’s school.
- Shop without the kids- Not only will this be a less stressful shopping trip, but it will also help you to stay on budget and keep you from buying items that they don’t need.
- Watch for state tax holidays- Some states will offer a “Tax Free” shopping day during the back-to-school shopping time. Check to see if your state (or your neighboring state if it’s close by) will be offering a tax free shopping day and take advantage of the savings.
- Comparison shop- You want to make sure you are getting the best price for the items you have to buy, so compare prices between stores. You can use the RedLaser app to scan a bar code for an item and find the best deal in your area before you make your purchase. You can also review the weekly sales circulars with sale prices for the stores where you plan to shop. (Tip: Make sure you are checking into restrictions on quantities, sale hours, and rain check policies for the stores) Here are two great apps to help you look over your store’s circulars for sale prices:
- Flipp- allows you to pull up specific store’s sales circulars
- Retale- enter your zip code and it will pull up the sales circulars for stores in your area
- Sign up for email updates- Some of the larger retail stores like Walmart, Target, and Office Depot will allow you to sign up for email updates for sale dates. You can also download the Cartwheel app from Target to check for sale prices on items you plan to purchase.
- Utilize loyalty rewards programs- Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck by taking advantage of the loyalty rewards program at the stores you shop. This will allow you to earn back money as you buy your supplies. Use the Flok app to search which stores offer loyalty programs to make sure you’re taking advantage of this benefit.
- Take advantage of school supply assistance programs- There may be a program in your area that provides assistance if you are struggling to be able to afford all of the supplies that are needed for your child. Freefinancialhelp.net has a great list of programs you can check into.
- Use a student ID for more savings- Ask your stores if they offer discounts for students before checking out. Just by showing a student ID you can save even more.
- Take advantage of rebates- This is one way to save that I often overlook. Some items may have rebates where you can receive money back when you purchase that item. Use the Ibotta app to check for rebates on the items you have purchased.
- Don’t forget your coupons- Not only can you find coupons for your favorite stores in their weekly sales circular, but you can also find great coupons on 2 amazing apps: Retail Me Not and The Coupon App. Take advantage of these apps today to find even lower prices and discounts.
- Shop through eBates- If you sign up for eBates and shop online through their site, you earn money that goes back into your pocket.
- Shop at the dollar store- You would be amazed at how many of the items on your child’s back-to-school shopping list can be bought at your local dollar store!
- Walmart Savings Catcher- After you have made your purchases at Walmart, make sure you are using the Walmart Savings Catcher app and scanning your receipt. If an item that you purchased is sold for a cheaper price elsewhere, Walmart will put the difference on your account in the app and you can use it toward future purchases.
- Plan a back-to-school swap- Whether it’s for school clothes or school supplies, you can host a swap with other families. This way everyone can pick up items that someone else may have as extra and you aren’t dipping into your back-to-school budget!
- Clothes shop on consignment- Consider shopping at a consignment store to find school clothes at a cheaper price. Most of the clothes sold at consignment stores have been placed there because they have been outgrown so you can find some nice pieces at deep discounts.
Once you have finished this year’s back-to-school shopping, consider starting to stock up on items for next year. You can take advantage of the sales and pick up items during back-to-school shopping, or slowly purchase items throughout the year when you find a good bargain. This will help cut down future costs and time spend shopping with the crowds.
I hope that these tips have given you hope that you can get the most from your money while back-to-school shopping this year! I’d love to hear other tips and tricks you use that I missed, so please comment below to share them with all of us. And don’t forget to share this post on your social media sites so your friends and family can take advantage of these ideas as well!
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