It’s almost that time of year for school to start back. Summer is quickly coming to an end and football season is just around the corner. A great article found at Daveramsey.com lists 6 Pro Shopping Tips for back to school shopping. I would like to share those tips with you in this week’s blog post.
Tip #1: Take inventory of what you currently have – I was actually looking for a binder at my house the other day so I looked in the cabinet where we keep school and office supplies. I could hardly believe how many supplies we already had on hand! We shouldn’t have to buy note cards again until 2025! I had apparently found quite a few sales last year on school supplies and decided to stock up. We had packs of paper, erasers, folders, etc.
Before you go shopping, make a list of items needed for school then check off what you already have on hand. You may be surprised to find out how much you can save because you have purchased the items beforehand.
Tip #2: Label everything with your child’s name – It pretty much happens to everyone so don’t be upset when your child loses his pencil or new set of markers. These items will be less likely to come up missing if there is a name on them.
Tip #3: Save even more by shopping on tax-free weekends – Tax free shopping days are scheduled in my neighborhood for the first week of August which is a great time to shop for school supplies. The tax savings can be used to purchase other items or to simply save you money. My local sales tax is 10% so by purchasing on the tax-free weekend I have automatically saved 10% on my purchases. Not bad to start with so add those savings to the discounts and sales you find and you can save more money than you might have thought possible.
Tip #4: Buy only the essential items now – If you are having a difficult time coming up with all the money you need to buy school supplies, buy only the items that are necessary at this time and save up to buy the other items later. I promise that it won’t hurt your child to use an old binder or pair of scissors for a few months. Let your child help you with the budget and he will better understand what you mean when you say that you don’t have the money to buy it now. Use the envelope system for school supplies and tell your child he can only spend the money in the envelope. Once the money is gone, it’s simply gone. It is a great visual representation of “we don’t have anymore money for this purchase.”
Tip #5: Find the best deal on everything – Do your research and find the best deals on items, especially big ticket items. My family is going to need to purchase a new laptop within the next 6 months so I will look for the best deal I can find. I am an educator, so many companies give educator discounts. Some companies price match so do your research beforehand and make sure you have found the best deal.
Tip #6: Classroom wish lists are simply wish lists and are not required – Money and supplies can be tight in school systems, so teachers will often ask for supplies they will need for the classroom throughout the year. Don’t feel obligated to buy all the supplies if you cannot afford them. I know it would be nice to have 30 rolls of paper towels and 30 boxes of Kleenex if you are a teacher, but only buy something if it doesn’t take money away from your other school supplies. Families that can afford to buy wish list items usually will buy them and sometimes will even buy extra.
Do your homework before you shop for school supplies this year. It’s worth the time and effort to be prepared ahead of time!