8 Money-Saving Tips for Back to School Shopping

Back to School season is upon us and that only means one thing – shopping!  Next to the holidays, back to school is the second biggest shopping season of the year.

The National Retail Federation reports that this year, back to school spending is expected to hit an “all time high” this year.  According to their survey, parents plan to spend an average of $238.9 on clothing, $204.33 on electronics, $130.38 on shoes and $114.12 on school supplies.

Imagine if you are sending more than 1 kid in school while struggling with your finances.

If you’re a parent who’s on a tight budget, check out these money-saving tips to get everything your child needs for back-to-school without breaking the bank.

1. Check your old supplies.

Before you make your shopping list, go through each room, desk, your kid’s backpack from last year and random storage at home first.  You’ll be surprised with all the hidden treasures that you can find.  This way, you can see which supplies you still have at home and know exactly what and how many you need to buy.

2. Make a list and create a budget (and stick to it!).

After rummaging through your old supplies, make a final list of the necessary school items you need to buy and set a realistic budget to prevent overspending.

3. Compare prices.

With the help of technology, use price comparison apps or do some window shopping online first to compare prices and find the best deals.

4. Shop on Tax-Free days.

Make the most of the Tax-Free holiday to save tons on back to school shopping.  Every state has its own set of rules and regulations so make sure to check online to get the full details and plan your purchases around it.

5. Visit the dollar store and shop at consignment sales.

For basic school supplies such as notebooks, pens and coloring materials, the dollar store is a great place to get incredible bargains.  While consignment stores are perfect for clothing items and sport equipment.

6. Invest in the right pieces.

Don’t worry about clothes and basic supplies – it’s okay to buy them cheap.  But for backpacks, shoes or computers, it’s best to invest in high-quality items that will last for a long, long time.

7. Use coupons.

Find the best coupons and discounted gift cards and deals online and from circulars, magazines and newspapers.  Use them in conjunction with sales to really get the biggest bang for your buck.

8. Buy used textbooks.

For college students, buying used textbooks will save you tons.  Compare prices on new books online or shop on bargain sites like Textbookx.com. At the same time, you can sell your old books online for cash.

Also, you can buy used textbooks on Amazon or eBay.  If the university allows digital copies, you can actually save 50% or more if you just download it to your tablet.


Bottom line, there are lots and lots of ways to save on your back to school expenses.  You just need to stick to your budget, plan ahead and shop smartly and wisely.

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