IT’S officially Fall, and back to school is upon us. It’s the season of splurging on pens and notebooks, art supplies and the unavoidable first day of school outfit. It’s also every parent’s worst nightmare when they take a peek at their balance and realise that the bulk of their money will be going towards items that will only need to be purchased again next year.
If you’re really strapped for cash, consider looking into a payday loan through services like wonga.com for a quick fix to the back to school season. But if you’re just hoping to save a few bucks on your purchases this season, look no further.
One of the best ways to save money during your back to school shopping trips is to watch the sales going on in your community. Chances are that businesses will be offering specials on a wide variety of items and these vary from store to store. So don’t settle for the first grocery store you walk into, but scan the newspapers for ads to point you in the right direction. The Sunday ads are a great place to track sales at your local stores and if you’re lucky you may find yourself a special one-day sale where you can do the bulk of your shopping. Try checking out sites like Red Plum to get printable coupons for your shopping trip.
If you’re fortunate enough to know the moms in your area, suggest a swap. Invite other moms over to your house for a swap party where they can bring their children’s clothes from last season or supplies that ended up unused. Make it into a full day event and enjoy the company of other families in the same position. If your friends don’t have the sizes or items you’re looking for, just keep in mind that you’re making it easier for others like yourself. Hopefully the favor will be returned the next year and at least you’ll be rid of the items that have been clogging up your closets for months.
Next year, try starting early. During the summer, pick up items that you’re positive the school will ask for like pens and paper. If you pick up a few items each time you make a trip to the grocery store, you won’t have to drop a bucketful of cash all at once and you’ll find it far easier to buy the big ticket items you need later in the year. Try doing the same for clothes. Buy clothes when they come on sale and then stash them away until the new school year starts. Your children may not be excited about the wait to wear them, but they will feel like completely new people when they get back to class in their new clothes.
Back to school shopping is a chore that most parents dread, whether they’re looking for items for their preschool children or their high school seniors. Unfortunately, it’s a part of life that rolls around every year. But with some smart planning, you can get your children ready for school on any budget.