5 Ways to Save Money on Back to School Shopping

We all know that back to school shopping can be expensive. Getting through those shopping lists for school supplies alone can really set you back when you’re on a budget, but school clothes and shoes tend to be the most expensive part of all. I typically spend $250 – $300 on products specifically for my 2 children for school and that’s nothing compared to what other parents find themselves spending. That said, I’ve decided to put together a list of methods that you can use to help you save money on back to school shopping.

Back to School

Back to School is just around the corner!
Image credit: Terry McCombs on Flickr

Five Ways to Save on Back to School Shopping

  1. Budget in advance. I make an effort to put back $10 each month, per child, specifically to be used for purchasing school supplies, clothing and shoes for school. Generally speaking, $30 – $35 of the $240 total is used strictly for notebooks, filler paper, pencils, pens, erasers, folders, etc. The remainder is used to purchase clothing and shoes.
  2. Don’t be afraid of the clearance racks. You can find amazing deals if you know when to look. Sometimes waiting that extra month to nab your kids new clothing can really pay off. For instance, you start to see summer clothing put out towards the middle of spring. The winter overstock then ends up on a clearance rack. Snag those deals when you see them and put them away for back to school wear. Lots of stores also put summer clothing on the clearance racks in late August to early September, so be sure to stock up on your children’s summer clothes then – and always take into consideration their rate of growth. Younger kids generally grow faster than older kids, but male teens do tend to hit heavy growth spurts, so try to keep that in mind when estimating sizes of clothing that likely won’t be worn until 5 – 6 months after purchase.
  3. Coupons, coupons, coupons! Yes, coupons are my thing and they should be yours, too, if you’re looking to save money on back to school shopping. Almost every store offers coupons – even the designer stores – you just have to keep an eye out for them. But you know what? You can also combine those clearance deals with coupons, such as Macy’s coupons for 15 – 20% off almost everything in the store, to reduce the total cost to you even more.
  4. Watch the ads. Keeping more cash in your pocket is often based on timing. If you wait until the last minute to do your shopping for back to school, you’ll literally pay for it. Stores like Office Max, Office Depot, Target, Kmart and more offer deep discounts in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year, but if you wait too long, you’ll miss them all. Snag those penny product deals while you can because they won’t be available at that price 5 days before your kids need them.
  5. When you find those awesome deals at the store, stock up if you can. Then you’ll have more for next year! For instance, I purchase boxes of notebooks when I find them for $0.20 or less. It costs me roughly $6.00 for 30 of them. Not a bad deal, right? And since I write for a living and have two kids in school this year, it’s money well spent because they will be used.

Have some money saving tips for back to school that you’d like to share? Leave me a comment below!

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