Rows of freshly sharpened pencils, an unopened box of crayons and a shiny, new pair of shoes…along with the excitement of a new school year comes a list of “must haves”. Back-to-school shopping can be fun, but it can also hit your budget pretty hard. Back-to-school time is the second largest shopping season of the year. If all that spending makes your head spin, don’t worry—we’re here to help you navigate back-to-school shopping with your budget and sanity intact. Here are a few ideas to start the new school year off right and score an A+ in back-to-school savings.
Do a house-wide sweep
Before you spend a penny, scour your closets and drawers to see what you have lying around the house. Round up all the supplies and list everything you’ve found. Keep the list handy so that you don’t forget what you have and end up buying things you don’t need.
Also, while digging through your kids’ closets, sort and purge. This way, their closets won’t be cluttered with junk and you’ll know exactly what each child needs.
Get the teacher-approved list
Pay close attention to specifics on the supply list sent home by your child’s teacher or found at major retailers. This will prevent you from being forced to later repurchase supplies that fit the teacher’s criteria.
Spread out your purchases
Spreading out your back-to-school shopping throughout the next couple months will allow you to take advantage of weekly sales. Plus, you won’t feel the financial squeeze as much as you would if you bought everything at once.
Organize a clothing swap
Organize a clothing swap party with other parents in your area. Choose a date and venue, and instruct all attendants to show up with three or more items of gently used children’s clothing. At the party, parents can exchange their kids’ outgrown clothing and go home with incredible finds—all free of charge.
Find the best prices
Hunt for specials in the weekly ads and look up coupons and deals online, on sites like RetailMeNot. You can also check out PriceGrabber.com or use the ShopSavvy app to find the lowest possible price on an item.
Use Twitter and Facebook to save
Many companies send coupon links to followers and let them know about upcoming sales. Monitor your favorite stores’ Twitter feeds and Facebook updates to find super deals.
Save through Ebates
When you buy through Ebates, you earn cash back on every purchase. You’ll also find exclusive deals and offers on the site. You can shop major stores like Macy’s, Walmart and Kohl’s on Ebates. It’s like getting paid to shop.
Time it right
Purchase what your child needs for now, and save the rest for later. You’ll find deep discounts on fall clothing just a few weeks into the school year.
Every year there’s a must-have school supply or clothing trend that costs a bundle. Set limits. Allow your child to choose one or two pricier items—but that’s it.
When school supplies and backpacks are ridiculously discounted a few weeks into the school year, stock up for next year.
Instead of paying high credit card rates, take out a Back-to-School Loan with us! Stock up on school supplies, new clothes, a computer and more. Enjoy a fixed rate and have the loan paid off by the time the next school year rolls around. Applying is easy—stop by any Partner Colorado location, apply online or use our Mobile Loan Application via Mobile Banking.
Back-to-School shopping doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Following these tips will give you a smart start to the new school year.