Back to school is a time of mixed emotions. The kids don’t want to go back to school while parents can’t wait to get the kids out of the house and back into a normal routine. But one thing’s for certain – back to school doesn’t come cheap. There are new clothes to buy and seemingly endless lists of supplies to acquire in order to properly send the kids back to school.
Here are a few suggesting for keeping back to school from emptying your wallet.
- Buy now: Jeans. They tend to be on sale between now and mid-August.
- Buy later: Everything Else. Probably the worst time to buy back to school clothes is right before you go back to school (mid-August to mid-September). The stores know most shoppers will wait until the week or so before and week or so after Labor Day to start shopping and will try to charge as much as possible. Plus, the kids will do best to wait to see what everyone else is wearing before they pick out what to wear.
- Be Prepared. Before you do any shopping it’s a good idea to work with your kids to clean out their closets. Help them sort through the items, choosing which ones are no longer worn and should be donated. Then determine what they need for the new school year and hit the stores armed with a list.
- List it. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy school supplies before you know what’s required. Wait until you get a list of necessary supplies before you hit the stores
- Go tax-free. Many states with sales tax hold a tax-free holiday this time of year. If you state charges tax on back to school items, try to make the most of the holiday to save as much as possible.
- Do your homework. Check the circulars every week and keep an eye out for coupons on back to school items. Many drug and office supply stores cut the price of supplies to almost nothing. Take advantage of these great deals, but beware of overpriced items nearby that they are hoping you’ll splurge on.
Shop for next year
- Hit the stores for back to school items on clearance from the end of September up until Halloween. A little early planning now can save lots on next year’s supplies.