Whether you’re a parent or a college student, you know how expensive it can be when it comes to shopping for back to school. According to the National Retail Federation, College students or families with children in college plan to spend up to $888 a year for back to school shopping while parents of K-12 students spend an average of $108 on school supplies, $204 on electronics, $ 235 on clothing, and $126 on shoes! Well, that’s a lot. But thanks to a number of strategies that you can use, you can actually cut your back-to-school expenses in half.
Here’s how you can do it…
1. Rummage through old supplies.
Before hitting the stores, go through each room and desk in your house first. You’ll be surprised with how much hidden treasures that you can find. From drawers, desks, closets, school bags, basement bins, I’m sure you’ll find one or two unused school items.
2. Make a list and create a budget.
Now that you are done “shopping” at home, you’ll see which items your kids still need. So make a list of the necessary school items to buy and set a budget to prevent overspending.
3. Use coupons.
Look for coupons/coupon codes that you can use for your back-to-school shopping in newspapers, magazines or coupon sites. It’s also a good way to check for stores that offer the best deals.
4. Hit the dollar store.
In the dollar store, you can get incredible bargains on basic school supplies like notebooks, pens, pencils, coloring materials and the like. But when it comes to backpacks or shoes, it’s better to go for quality so you need to find another store for that.
5. Shop in garage sales and thrift stores.
Don’t underestimate garage sales and thrift stores. There’s a high chance that you can find gently used or even brand new quality backpacks, shoes, clothing and dorm supplies (for college students).
6. Buy in bulk.
If you are sending not just one but two or more kids to school, it’s best to buy in bulk that will get you through the rest of the school year. If you think it’s too much, you can talk to your friends, family or neighbors to divide these supplies equally and save a bunch of dollars.
7. Buy used textbooks.
College is expensive, especially those textbooks. Compare prices on new books online or shop on bargain sites like Textbookx.com. Also, you can buy used textbooks on Amazon or eBay. If the university allows digital copies, you can actually save 50% or more if you just download it to your Kindle or other e-reader.