It’s back to school time. A whirlwind of day trips, sand castles and ice cream may mean that school is a distant memory for the little people in your life. Grown-ups, on the other hand, understand that the last few weeks of the holidays will pass all too quickly and it will soon be time to wave the kids off at the school gate (lumps in throat optional).
According to the National Retail Federation, parents can expect to lay out upwards of $600 to ensure each child arrives at school looking smart and packing all they need. It’s eye watering stuff but should it cost so much? Probably not. Here are five tips to help slash the cost of back to school shopping.
Prepare a List
How often have you been grocery shopping without a list and ended up with donuts that you didn’t need? Making a list before shopping for school items can help to avoid impulse purchases. If your school sends an approved list, consult it before making your own.
Check What You Already Have
Did your child go through all those notebooks you bought last year? Do their jeans still fit? Have older children outgrown items that younger children can use? These checks allow you to cross items off your list without ever having to whip out your bank card.
Spread Your Shopping
Buying all you need in one swoop may leave you with a smug smile but the smartest shoppers take advantage of the different deals available each week to enjoy savings on staple items. Tax-free shopping days can also bring down the cost.
Wait Until After School Starts
You don’t need to send your little darlings back to school woefully unprepared but it does pay to hang fire for certain items. Light coats and boots are often offered at a lower price later in the fall. If your child can cope without these for a few weeks, considering waiting.
Avoid “Latest and Greatest” purchases
You may be under pressure to buy character-themed items but since these can make short work of your budget, it’s typically best to avoid them. Compromise by allowing your child to do chores to pay for these items. You’ll soon know whether they’re must-haves.
These tips can stretch your back to school budget further than you might imagine. Do you have your own tips? We’d love to hear them.
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