Back to School Shopping on a Budget

backtoschoolIt seems like it wasn’t too long ago when getting ready for the new school year was actually a fun and exciting experience.  All of the school supplies, clothes, and stuff that you just had to have were endless possibilities once upon a time.  Now that the reality of life has caught up to you, check out these tips to help you do your back to school shopping on a budget:

  • Start with What You Have.  At the end of last school year, did you notice that a whole bunch of pens, pencils, and paper came back from the bag you sent them in?  Every year, you probably have tons of stuff that your child “needed” last year return unused or in good condition. Start with the stuff you already have, and work from there.  Compile a list of what you’ll need this year, gather up all of last year’s items, and start crossing items off your list.
  • Shop Used.  Clothes, backpacks, and everyday accessories can get expensive very quickly.  You can cut back on some of these essential expenses by visiting local thrift stores.  Many shops will accept only new or very gently used items, and if you have growing kids, these stores can make back to school shopping on a budget easy!  If you’re yearning to get your kids something new for this new school year, budget for just a few new items to mix in with gently used supplies.
  • Make a List and Check It Twice.  You probably already know how expensive grocery shopping can get when you do so on an empty stomach.  When you’re back to school shopping on a budget, you have to keep the same mentality; make a list of your absolute must-haves, throw in a couple of “maybe” items, and stick to it.  Having a list on hand will help to keep you from straying away from the essentials.
  • PayAttention to the Deals.  Back to school shopping on a budget can be easier than you think if you open yourself up to the possibilities.  Look for online deals, single-day sales, and apps that can help you organize your shopping trips so you can achieve optimal savings.  One-day sales can often fill entire shopping lists for a fraction of the cost.
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