How to Save on Back to School

Back-to-school shopping can be a crazy time of year, especially if you have a number of kids getting ready to head back. It can also be an expensive time of year if you’re not careful. If you are already at the point of no return where you have no money budgeted on back to school, there are always convenient credit options like a personal loan, but it’s always better to try and solve within your means. Below are some ideas on how to keep your expenses in check.

Get organized. This is easier said than done but the best way to avoid spending money on things you don’t need, whether it’s clothes or back to school supplies, is to take stock of what you have. Throw out or donate anything that you know you don’t need any more to make room for new things. Also, start organizing pens and pencils that you see laying around so that you don’t have to buy them!

Save last year’s supplies. Instead of buying a new ruler every year, make sure that your kids clean out their desks and lockers in June and set their supplies aside so that you remember not to buy another pack of index cards that they don’t need once September rolls around.

Use hand-me-downs. Whether you do this from one child to the next or team up with a neighbor or family friend, you’ll save a ton of money by avoiding new purchases and your kids won’t know the difference. This can be an especially good move for expensive gadgets like calculators or textbooks.

Keep an eye out all summer. Though back-to-school sales may offer good prices, it also may pay to think ahead and look at prices on staples like scissors, markers and notebooks or to swing by your local dollar store. If you spot a good sale, take advantage. An added bonus is that you’ll benefit from avoiding the long lines at office supply stores during late August and early September.

Another idea is to order what you need online as you can easily compare prices and skip the lines. If you take this route, check out sites like Big Crumbs and Ebates before you click over to your favorite sites and save even more. Good luck!

About the Author:

Kate is a freelance writer and blogger with a strong interest in personal finance. She writes regularly for the AvantCredit blog, On Better Terms. She loves finding ways to save and enjoys learning about investing and how to make money work for her instead of the other way around. In her free time, Kate enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, and running.

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