The heat is out in full force here in Virginia and it is scorching! Even though the thermometer indicates that summer is going strong, I can’t help but start thinking about back to school.
We have over a month until we send our girl off to kindergarten and I am NOT ready for it! I am a long way from being emotionally ready for her to start school, but I can work on getting her physically ready. And since that is where my head it at right now, I wanted to share some ideas for how you can save at back to school time.
1. Watch the sale flyers
First of all, retailers know that you are on the hunt for school supplies. As a result, they are willing to offer “loss leaders” to get you in the door of THEIR store. Since they know you are going somewhere, they want it to be with them! Doesn’t it make you feel good to be loved like that? Ha! 🙂
Keep your eye on the Back to School sale flyers or deal websites. Start taking advantage now of the great deals to be had. Your student’s school probably already has a generic list of school supplies on their website to help you get started!
- A few of my favorite deal websites: Money Saving Mom, Passionate Penny Pincher, Southern Savers, Passion for Savings
Check out THIS list to see how some of the store prices measure up on school supplies.
2. Don’t forget your dollar stores
I am a huge fan of dollar stores (I used to loathe them!) these days. They are a great place to pick up some of those extra school supply items that might be more expensive at the big box retailers. If you’ve waited too long or missed some of the great Back to School bargains elsewhere, then you can still save a lot of money.
Keep in mind that there can be a difference in quality for certain items like crayons (Can you beat Crayola?), but many other items are exactly the same regardless of brand.
3. Plan your meals ahead
You may not think about food when you think about back to school, but you should! Creating a weekly menu is the best way to save money on groceries and eating out when the school year gets crazy and hectic. Even as summer winds down, prep some freezer meals ahead of time and then use your slow cooker or heat up your meal on busy school nights.
Once school begins, pack lunches the night before so that your kids aren’t spending money on those exp ensive school cafeteria lunches.
4. Take advantage of tax-free shopping
More and more states are offering tax-free shopping days and weekends, which is a great way to save some extra cash. Not only will you save on the sales tax on certain items, but many stores will have some great sales on tax-free weekends in order to get you in their store. Use their marketing strategy to your advantage and save on brand new clothes and school supplies! Just make sure you read the fine print so you know exactly which items are tax-free.
Check out THIS list to see what states are included.
5. Don’t be afraid to buy used
There’s something fun about starting the year out with brand new items, but buying used can save you up to 70%. Shop your local consignment sales or stores for back to school clothes or check Craigslist and Facebook yard sale pages for some of the higher ticketed school supply items such as calculators.
There is something exciting about starting a new school year. As a result of the new school year, we often start new habits, routines, and set new goals. Even though it often CAN cost you a lot of money, it most certainly doesn’t HAVE to! If you are looking for more ways to save money, then check out some of my posts below.
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