The cost of going back to school keeps rising. However, it is possible to buy what your kids need without going overboard. Here are a few cost cutting tips, whether your kids are returning to school or heading off to college.
Do a closet sweep
You may already have school supplies lying around or hidden at the back of the closet which will save you money. Round up all the office and school supplies you already own and put them in a central location so you can make a list of the items you have and those you need to purchase.
Shop at garage sales and thrift stores
It’s garage sale season and you can pick up a treasure trove of deals for back to school supplies. Backpacks, gently used shoes, clothes, and even school supplies can be purchased for next to nothing. It’s also worth asking family and friends to keep an eye out for you while they shop at garage sales.
Retail stores, which are selling off old stock, will begin to slash prices in the coming weeks. The cost of school uniforms and toiletries, including toilet paper, toothpaste, and shower gel, for those returning to college, are often greatly reduced.
There are also plenty of local Facebook groups you can join where hundreds of people are selling used items so you may pick up bargains there as well.
Set a budget
Setting a budget and getting your kids involved is a great way to teach them money management skills early on. Not everything needs to be branded with the latest characters from top TV shows, boy bands, or new release movies. If you can afford to purchase branded items keep it to one or two. Have your children decide what to spend a little more on, but explain that the rest of their school supplies will be bought at bargain prices and that will probably mean no branding.
There seems to be a never-ending need for supplies when it comes to college kids. Bookstores have discounts on used textbooks so sign up to make sure you receive alerts and watch out for emails warning you about sales. If it’s possible to work from a digital copy of the textbook then it may be cheaper to download onto a tablet rather than purchase a hard copy. At the end of the semester encourage your kids to sell their textbooks and save that money for next time. Again, shop for essentials at garage sales and ask friends and family for items that they are no longer using. If your children have a birthday coming up have them ask for items they need. And, although it seems a long way off, Christmas is a great time to replenish supplies by asking for toiletries, books, and other items.
The dollar store
You can often find some incredible bargains at the dollar store. Also, check stores that are going out of business as these should have good discounts. And don’t forget, you can stock up for the next semester.
Look for coupons in your local newspaper and online. Keep in mind that many stores also offer price and coupon matches too.
Buy in bulk
Finally, if you can afford to do so save money by purchasing items in bulk and saving for the future.