Back-to-school shopping doesn't have to break the bank. With a little planning and a few tips and tricks, your school supplies will be a total steal. From new school bags to trendy lunch boxes – not only can all these choices be overwhelming, but their costs add up quickly. We have rounded up the best ways you can save money and keep your cool while picking up school essentials for your children.
Parents Today provided the following seven tips:
1. Make a shopping list and set a budget. The first step is to determine what your children need. Work together to create a list of all the supplies that are essential, as well as those that are just “wants”.
2. Do an inventory sweep. Before you start making any actual purchases, check through your cupboards, storage bins and even last year’s school bags for extra supplies you may have lying around.
3. Swop with friends. After you are done with your inventory sweep, don’t rush to the mall just yet. Your friends, neighbours and even family members may also have school clothing that doesn’t fit their children any more but would be perfect on yours. Think of it as a swopping shopping spree.
4. Shop the sales. Once you have done your swop with friends, it’s time to hit the shops. Be prepared for those inevitable back-to-school deals and do your research to know which ones are really worth your while.
5. Price matching. In addition to sales, many stores have solid price-matching policies. As always, there are exceptions to the rule: some retailers let customers price match an already purchased product within a certain amount of time.
6. Look for special promos and vouchers. Using vouchers and taking advantage of special promotions is another way to save on supplies. Skim newspapers, magazines, social media and websites.
7. Shop online. You can often buy in bulk and save money (not to mention avoiding the hassle of busy malls) when you do your shopping online. Just beware of deals that seem too good to be true – they often are! Vouchers can also be applied to online purchases.
Surely with these tips and tricks, you’re ready to face the back-to-school shopping. It is always better to start early than wait until the last minute.