It's that time of year again. As August rolls around, parents, children, and teachers start thinking about school again. With school comes supplies and new clothes for the fall!
Here are the five top tips for getting through this school shopping season without breaking the bank.
1. Price Compare
It may seem obvious, but some folks need reminding. Once you get your list, look online and compare prices for the items you need based on the available stores. You can compare online and storefront options to see who has the lowest prices on the things you need.
Inflation has caused many families to reduce or stop spending because costs are so high. To combat this, many big box stores have started slashing prices to help consumers spend on the items they need. Look carefully at prices and start from there when shopping.
2. Coupon Apps
Couponing is a great way to save on school shopping, but who has time to cut coupons? Thankfully, there are helpful coupon apps that find online coupon codes for you! The easiest way to use apps such as Honey is to download the extension on your web browser.
As you shop, the app will keep you updated on price comparisons. When you get to the cart, it will offer to run any coupon codes it finds online for the items you are purchasing.
There is also Rakuten which will give you cash back for your purchases. This way, you not only save by getting less expensive items at the least expensive spots, you also get cashback in various places.
3. Shop the Sales
We all get bombarded with promo emails from our favorite stores. Instead of deleting them and being annoyed that they are filling your mailbox, it's time to dive deeply and find the best deals!
You can often find online/in-store coupons to reduce the price. If there are no coupons, you can look at the sales to see what they offer before you buy online or go to the stores.
Outlets are a great place to find sales also. You can get quality when shopping deals at the outlets because the prices are already reduced in many cases.
Kids grow so fast that it can be hard to keep up with the clothing they need throughout the year. Making sure you shop the best sales will help you save on necessary purchases and help your bottom line.
You can also utilize well-known events such as Amazon's Prime Day sales. Knowing what you need, you can search to see if prices are lower for the items you need during that sale. As a Prime member, you also get free shipping all year-round, which is a great way to save money when shopping online. Prime members also get better deals on Prime Day, and they just announced another event coming soon, so look out for it. There is a fee for the membership, but you get your money back in free shipping pretty quickly if you utilize the membership.
You have the opportunity to try a variety of stores and sales for well-known sales weekends such as Labor Day. Finding deals before school starts will allow you to go into the new season feeling confident you didn't overspend, and that your children have everything they need for the upcoming school year.
4. Try Your Local Dollar Store
Surprisingly, there are a variety of great deals for school in the dollar store. Many dollar stores have most if not all of the supplies you will need at a fraction of the price.
It's a quick stop to see what you can get at a discount before you go into the more moderately priced items. Take a look, and you might be pleasantly surprised!
Dollar stores are also a great source of supplies for teachers looking to decorate their classrooms on a budget. They stock bulletin board letters, boarders, pointers, and more. It is much less expensive than typical teacher stores, and you can find excellent learning resources.
5. Buy In Bulk
Most kids are rough on their supplies. (Ever found yourself back in the store one month later because those crayons and scissors you bought them are already broken?)
If you catch a sale for back-to-school, it is often a good idea to buy the bulk sales for items such as pencils, notebooks, crayons, markers, and other things that often need to be replaced.
Big box bulk stores are also a great place to find clothes for school each season because even if you are not buying the bulk items, they often have great discounts and low prices on clothing for the whole family.
There is a membership with these stores, but if utilized correctly, it can be great for the whole family. Save on your clothes, school supplies, groceries, and more.
The End Goal
Why not pay the lowest possible price to help keep your budget in check and ensure you get everything you need to set your children up for a successful and stylish new school year?
School shopping causes both positive and negative feelings for many families because school shopping can be exciting but also stressful because of the costs.
Inflation has made this even more stressful for many because their list was expensive before but now may seem unmanageable. Thankfully that does not have to be the case if you have a plan to get what you need at the lowest cost possible.
Utilizing these tips before you head to the store or sit down at your computer to shop will make this your most successful school shopping season because you will have everything you need and will not destroy your budget.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Dana Wolk is a blogger with a master’s degree as a Literacy Specialist who has a long history of writing freelance articles for her blog, Debt Blogger, as well as writing for other companies and individuals who have needed content.