20 Ways to Save Money on Back to School

August 11, 2017

20 Ways to Save Money on Back to School

Shopping for back to school supplies and clothing is a balancing act. You need to get what your children need, but your wallet has its needs too. How do you navigate between the two?

First be realistic about clothing, supplies, and gear you need to buy. Not everything on a college dorm list is a must-have. That also goes for your younger kids. Just think about what came home in their backpacks at the end of last year! Deciding only to purchase the must-haves already puts you in a position to spend less.

Next, take advantage of every money-saving tactic at your disposal! Here are some tips to help you save money this Back to School Season.

1. Establish a Back to School Budget

Just like you would a monthly budget, set parameters for each item or category you need to shop for. This gives you and your kids the flexibility to decide what items warrant a little “investment” on your part, and which ones you can buy on the cheap.

2. Shop Your Home First

All supplies don’t have to be brand-spanking new. Look at what you already have by checking out what came home last year, and what’s around the house.

3. Get the Scoop From Other Parents

Find a parent a grade or college year ahead who can fill you in on what their child actually used.

4. Shop During Tax-Free Week

Take advantage of your state’s tax-free week and score supplies and clothing without the sales tax. Find your state’s schedule here.

5. Use Browser Extensions When Shopping Online

Download free browser extensions like Honey or Amazon’s Assistant to help you find the lowest prices and discount codes while shopping online.

6. Do Your Shopping on Cash-Back Sites

Get rewarded for your shopping by using Ebates or Swagbucks.

7. Use Amazon Prime

Take advantage of lower prices, 2-day shipping, and exclusive product available to Amazon Prime subscribers. Don’t have Amazon Prime? Try it for free for 30 days. If you’re a college student, score a free 6-month trial and then 50% off your subscription.

8. Download Cash-Back Apps

Use cash-back apps like ibotta, SavingStar, and Cartwheel (Target) to score money back on the items you plan to buy.

9. Buy Clothes at Consignment and Thrift Stores

You can find great deals by shopping at quality consignment and thrift stores. See more tips for saving on clothing.

10. Don’t Dismiss Shopping at Your Supermarket

Usually, school supplies are overpriced at grocery stores, but during the Back to School Season, the sale prices are competitive and can be maximized by shopping with newspaper coupons, printable coupons, ibotta, and SavingStar.

11. Delay Some Purchases

If possible, postpone some purchases until after school has started and supplies and clothing have been put on clearance.

12. Check Out The Dollar Store

See what supplies you can cross off your list by shopping at the dollar store.

13. Look For Coupons and Deals in Your Sunday Paper

If you don’t already coupon, check your Sunday paper for coupons and discounts from retailers in your area.

14. Get Social

Check out the Facebook pages of your favorites stores or follow them on Twitter. Some companies provide coupons directly to their FB fans and followers.

15. Subscribe to Coupon Websites for Weekly Deals

Visit sites like livingrichwithcoupons, krazycouponlady, and moneysavingmom for weekly lists of the best back-to-school deals.

16. Spend More To Get More Mileage From an Item

Consider spending more on items if you can get two or more year’s use out of them.

17. Buy Used College Textbooks

Check out BookScouter as well as Amazon for deals on renting or buying used books.

18. Price Match

Take advantage of your store’s price match policy by bringing in a competitor’s circular.

19. Watch the Register + Your Receipts

Most stores have a price guarantee and will give you an item for free if it rings up higher than its advertised price. (Subject to price limitations. Check your store’s policy for details.)

20. Ask for a Price Adjustment

Hang onto your receipts and ask for a price adjustment if what you bought goes on sale.

Related Reading:
•   Beginner’s Guide to Couponing
•   5 Tools to Help You Stretch Your Grocery Budget
•   Choose Quality Over Price For These 5 Items

When you’re shopping at a particular time like the Back to School Season, and you need what you need when you need it, it can feel like you’re at the mercy of whatever prices the stores are offering.

But by following even just one of these tips, you’ll pay less than you need to. Follow several of them, and you’ll lessen the financial blow of sending your kids back to school.

Happy Shopping!

What tips do you follow to save during the Back to School Season?


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