Ever notice how the ringing of school bells parallels the ‘cha-ching’ of cash registers? Buying back-to-school supplies, clothing and electronics can eat up a large chunk of income. Instead of waiting until the last minute, plan ahead, do your research and earn yourself an A+ in school shopping.
On average, parents spend $100 to $200 per child for back-to-school supplies. In the weeks before your kids head back to class, look around your home and start filling their backpacks. Sharpen last year’s colored pencils and see how many pages are left in last semester’s notebooks.
To supplement supplies you find at home, leverage the Internet to price and compare items from different stores. There are hundreds of best deal articles out there, and even entire websites devoted to ad comparisons and coupon savings. You can often find the same savings breakdowns for your child’s closet.
Since school begins during August or September you can typically count on your children wearing the same wardrobe they did over summer break. Hold off on buying the latest fashions – those same ensembles are likely to go on sale in less than a month. If you want to send them off in a new outfit, see what you can find on the sale racks. The end of summer is a great time to get deals on sandals, shorts and sundresses.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the easiest, most efficient way to save money when you’re shopping for back-to-school necessities is to make a budget and stick to it. Combing the aisles for crayons, notebooks and gym sneakers is also a great opportunity to give your little ones a lesson in finances.
Ask them to add up totals and compare brands – they’re likely to have a newfound appreciation for their supplies. Any leftover funds can be deposited into their Kirby Kangaroo Club savings account.