Research conducted by Huntington Bank concluded that a parent could easily spend an average of $1,000 just sending their child back to school. At National Heritage Academies (NHA), we want to make sure that never happens to our parents! There are plenty of ways to spend less during the back-to-school season, and we want to help you find them. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Plan ahead. Some stores begin setting up their back-to-school displays as early as this month, so if you begin shopping around and spreading your purchases out over the next couple of months, you’ll experience less stress, be able to chip away at your list more slowly, and spread out your budget.
- Check for what you already have. Kids don’t need a new pair of scissors every year if the old ones are still in good shape. Round up what you already have in your home office, closets, and bins and make a list of what doesn’t need to be purchased new. This includes clothing and shoes. Go through and purge what your child has outgrown to determine if there are any items that will last another season.
- Get thrifty. Garage sales, dollar stores, consignment stores, and thrift stores are great places to find clothing and classroom supplies — often unopened or with tags still on. If you don’t mind searching and monitoring for new items, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are also good options.
- Follow stores on social media or subscribe to their emails. The best way to keep up on sales at your favorite stores is to follow them on their social media channels or subscribe to daily emails. Stores like Staples, Walmart, Target, Kohls, and Old Navy are always running sales, and you’ll be sure to stay in the know. @amazondeals is another great place to keep tabs.
- Go Groupon. According to Consumer Reports, most back-to-school supplies are priced similarly at various stores, so you should “look for retailers that are offering discounts for purchasing school basics.” For example, Groupon regularly groups discounts at a number of stores into one category called “back-to-school”, which includes stores like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. Let them do a little of the heavy research lifting for you!
- Hold off on clothing. It’s natural to want to load up on a back-to-school wardrobe for your kids before school starts, but it’s better to wait until September. If your child goes to a school without uniforms, buy them a fun first-week outfit or two, then wait until clothing sales pick up again.
- Download an app. According to Consumer Reports, an app called Camelcamelcamel tracks Amazon prices, so you can enter the URL of a product and receive an email alert when the price drops. You can also see a history of the price to understand the highs and lows — and know whether you’re getting a good deal.