Guest Post: Back to School on a Budget

Back to SchoolYou can hear the groans across the country. Summer has barely begun and already retailers are holding back-to-school sales. Toys R Us actually started their sales July 1, with an end date of July 23. The National Retail Federation says some sales may continue through August, but there might not be the same selection. That’s reason enough to consider shopping now.

The question is how to save without busting your budget. Here are 11 savings tips to help you through this early shopping season.

1. Take Inventory

Consider what you’ll actually need before hitting the stores. Has your child grown out of their schools clothes or will they do so by September? Can you reuse last year’s school supplies or will you need to replace some items?

2. Set a Budget

Create a shopping list and stick to it, so you avoid impulse purchases. That fancy-schmancy Transformers’ Trapper Keeper can push your budget over the edge.

3. Use Coupons

There may be great deals, but coupons can make them even greater. Check out sites like CouponSherpa.com that offer a wide selection of online, printable, and mobile coupons for back to school savings.

4. Shop Early

While it seems awfully early to think about school shopping, this is when stores are rolling out their best deals of the year. As they say, the early bird gets the worm.

5. Go Mobile

Tap into your mobile phone with apps like “RedLaser,” which allows you to scan bar codes and find any cheaper prices online or at other retailers.

6. Check Social Media

Twitter and Facebook are great places to find deals offered to a brand’s social-media fan base. “Like” or “Follow” the merchant and keep an eye out for coupons and sales announcements.

7. Buy in Bulk

Take advantage of bulk offers on pens, crayons, paper and other items your kids will burn through over the course of the year. You might team up with other parents for bigger bulk purchases that will bring prices down even lower.

8. Spend More to Save More

Sometimes it costs money to save money. For example, Staples offers a 15-percent savings pass for $10, which you can use throughout the back-to-school season.

9. Exchange

Gather your family and friends — along with their kid’s school wardrobes — for an exchange night of hand-me-downs that will save everyone money.

10. Wait Until Labor Day

Labor Day is the traditional time for big sales on school clothing. You might take a chance and wait until then to buy any necessary items for your child.

11. Buy for Yourself

Back-to-school sales aren’t just for kids. You might stock up on office supplies, jeans and other items that traditionally go on sale during this season.

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Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch

Consumer and money saving expert, Andrea Woroch, is available for an in-studio, satellite or skype interview. As a nationally recognized media source, Andrea has been featured on NBC Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, ShopSmart Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. To view recent interviews or for more savings tips visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or email andrea@kinoliinc.com.

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Comments

  1. This is actually good enough to print out! Seriously!

  2. Great ideas! I always go through my son’s stuff from last year before I buy new. I’m buying a little at a time, only what’s on sale.