Going back to school every fall can be a very exciting time. For many, it represents a time to start fresh and work towards a successful year. However, around this time of the year, most people end up spending a considerable amount of money on supplies and clothing to prepare for the school year. Fortunately, there are several tips that can be followed that will help you to save money on your back to school shopping.
When you are looking to save money on back to school shopping, the first tip is to start as early as possible. Most retailers start advertising their sales and promotions in late July. While these may seem like great promotions, you can also save a lot of money by starting your shopping even earlier. Many of the products that you would normally need to buy, including school supplies, grocery and clothing, are available through both brick-and-mortar stores and online throughout the year. Since there is not often a demand for these in early summer, prices can be much lower.
Another tip that can be used for extra savings when you are getting ready for school season is to look at the weekly ads. Many retailers, both online and offline, have regular advertisements that mention their current deals. One type of store that often have great deals in its weekly ads include grocery stores, which normally have a large section in their store dedicated to school supplies. Online aggregators could even help you find the best deals in all stores in your local area.
In many states across the country, there are certain days of the year in which normal sales tax will not be charged for certain items. Typically, one of these days will fall in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year and will allow you to avoid paying tax on school supplies and clothing. Depending on which state and city you live in, this could save over ten percent on your total costs for the upcoming school year.
Another way that you can save money on your school supplies is to buy gift cards. There are currently a number of different websites that allow consumers to buy and sell gift cards at a discount. These gift cards can be used at a range of merchants including grocery stores, clothing stores, superstores, and other retailers. In many cases, you can buy a gift card for up to 20% off of the actual value of the card. Furthermore, these gift cards will be fully verified by the website to ensure that they are legitimate and carry the balance that is advertised.
Most importantly, you need to set a budget for what you are willing to spend. Set a reasonable clothing and supply limit for each child and do your best to stay within the limit. With older children, it could even be a good exercise in teaching them how to set up a budget and how to spend wisely to stay within it.