Sunday, July 18, 2010

6 Ways to Save Money on School Supplies

It's that time of year again. You have to think about buying school supplies for your children which can be stressful and costly. Children are not aware of how much things cost and want the latest gadgets their friends have so they don't feel left out. Many stores are having great back to school sales.

Don't let your children pressure you into buying things they don't really need. This year try to buy more needs vs. wants and explain to your children that the family has to stuck to a budget and may not be able to buy extra things that they previously were able to get.

Buy things that they absolutely need for school. Talk with your children before going school shopping and set expectations. Let them know what you are going to buy so they won't be disappointed or thrown a tantrum when you refuse to buy something they want.

Have your children create a list of mandatory supplies that are needed for school. Do an inventory to see if you have any school supplies left over from last year. Determine what clothes your children can still fit comfortably and make a list of things they need. Prioritize the list in three categories: Need Now, Need in 2-4 months, Need in 5-7 months, Need When School Ends. This will also help budget your money and help you find other ways to get supplies for school if you don't have the cash to get everything you need.

Here are 6 tips to save money when shopping for back to school supplies and clothing.

1. Tax Free: Take advantage of tax free days in your state to buy school supplies and school clothes for your children.

2. Sales: Go to yard sales and dollar stores to find bargains. Shop at wholesale stores like Costo, Walmart, Target, Walgreens or Sam's Club to get great discounts.

3. Clothes. You can buy clothes from a thrift store, consignment shop or discount store such as Walmart or Target. Kids grow quickly and their clothes generally don't last or fit them throughout the entire school year. This will save you money and you kids will still remain fashionable. Buy clothes and shoes if possible at least one size too big so your kids can get more wear out of them.

4. Network: Mention to family, friends, co-workers and neighbors that you are going school shopping. They may be able to provide money savings tips for buying school supplies or may have extra supplies they can give to you for free.

5. Comparison Shop: Search the internet for reputable websites that sell school supplies at a discount price and purchase items before school starts to get the best deals. Shop at stores that honor competitor prices and coupons.

6. Budget: Create a budget for mandatory school supplies (pens, paper, pencils, erasers, notebooks, composition notebooks, rulers, compass, etc.) and save some additional money for unexpected school expenses that may pop-up after school starts such as additional supplies needed for classes, school trips, etc.

1 comment:

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