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Back to school on a budget: 4 solid tips to save you money

John T. Lally

August 19, 2019

Let’s face it. Kids aren’t cheap, so you have to save money where you can. Back-to-school shopping is a good place to start because costs can add up quickly—especially if you have more than one child. Consider these tips for sending your kids back to school without breaking the bank.

  1. Plan before you shop—Be prepared before you hit the stores. There’s nothing more dangerous than shopping without a structured list, because it often leads to impulse buys. Ask your child’s school or teacher for a shopping list of required items. This will take the guess work out of shopping and keep you to a defined list.

  2. Stock up early—Take advantage of back-to-school sales. Instead of stocking up for only a few months, try to buy items for the entire school year. Plan for the long-term to make the most of early deals.

  3. Buy used when you can—Kids might like new shiny things, but it makes sense to buy used for certain items. For example, items that your child may only need for the current school year—like an expensive calculator for calculus class. Instead of buying new, look for a cheaper, gently used option online. This is also a great tip for college-bound students—buy used text books!

  4. Shop in your own home first—Remember to search your home first before you spend money on new items. Many supplies, like notebooks and pens, will often be sitting, forgotten and unused, in closets and desk drawers. Make use of what you already have. You can also reuse and repurpose items from the previous school year, like backpacks and binders.

Back-to-school time can be both frantic and expensive. Planning ahead will help you save more and stress less!

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