After Fourth of July retailers begin making space for school supplies. You’ll start seeing some back to school sales that will gradually begin to pick up and go full force mid-July.
Don’t break your pockets by getting caught up in the back to school frenzy. Start planning now.
Here are a few ideas to consider as you plan for back to school.
First, figure out what your child needs.
Go over the school supply list. A lot of schools have them available at the end of the school year. Most post them online. If this is not the case for your school, call and get the list. Once you’ve reviewed the list, shop around your house for supplies that haven’t been used or supplies that can be reused. Items such as rulers, calculators, pencil boxes and backpacks most likely don’t need to be replaced each year. Make sure you carry the list around with you. You never know when you’ll run across a deal, so it’s good to keep it handy.
Consider hand me downs.
Visit thrift stores, consignment shops and check out some garage sales. You can also swap items with other parents. Ask them about swapping (or purchasing at a discount) clothes and school gear that their children have outgrown.
Clip some coupons!
Visit Valpak.com. It’s a great source for back to school coupons. They have coupons for shoes, clothes, backpacks, haircuts and more!
Check your community calendars for back to school events and festivals.
Many local organizations, business and government agencies host back to school events. In effort to ensure that all students are prepared to start the new school year they sometimes give away school supplies and provide free services like free immunizations, sports physicals, and haircuts.
Buy uniform apparel year-round.
If your school requires a uniform, pick up apparel whenever you see a great sale. Buy a size larger than what your kid currently wears and keep those items for the following year.
Read through sales ads thoroughly.
Office supply stores offer competitive sales in July and August. The problem many run into is that one store may have the best deal on composition notebooks while the other has the best deal on #2 pencils. Know where to go and plan your shopping route accordingly. Even better, save gas by just taking the sale circular with you and ask the store clerk or manager to match the price.
Split the cost of classroom supplies with other parents.
Many teachers now ask families to provide items like tissue and sanitizing wipes. Considering splitting the cost with other parents in the classroom and buy in bulk.
More than a dozen states offer tax-free weekends. The sales tax on school item purchases is waived up to a certain amount. Check the Federation of Tax Administrators page to find out if your state offers this program.
Back to school shopping can also be an educational opportunity for your child. Work on those math skills by giving them a budget and letting them help with shopping. Teach them responsibility and how to bargain hunt and most of all, have fun!
Don’t wait until the last minute and get caught up in the frenzy. Get ahead of the game and begin preparing for back to school today.