Back to school shopping can be really expensive and outside of the holiday seasons this is the second biggest retail shopping season in America. The biggest items purchased? Electronics, clothing and school supplies. Needless to say, it's easy to see how those expenses can add up fast.
"The back to school shopping season is the second biggest retail shopping season in America!"
If you have kids or if you are a student, then you may likely be picking up a few things for school and so in this blog post, I'm sharing a few back-to-school shopping tips to help you get the most bang for your buck!
1. Make a list and budget
The best way to save money with your back to school shopping is by having a plan so you can avoid overspending, and the best way to create this plan is by starting with a list of things you need to purchase and creating a budget of how much you will be spending on each item.
Start by doing a quick survey of what you or your kids need this back to school season and then assign a fixed dollar amount to each item. The goal here is that when you go shopping, you stick to your list and you stick to your budget.
2. Leverage student discounts
If you are buying computers or other expensive electronics (tablets, printers etc) you definitely want to see if you can get a student discount from the various retailers. Many retailers offer them and this can help you save quite a bit of money, sometimes up to 15%, in some cases maybe even more.
3. Compare prices online
Before you hit the shops, it's also a good idea to do some comparison shopping online across different retailers for the things you need to pick up, this way you can be sure you are getting the best prices. You may also be able to find some coupons online that you can use towards your purchases to bring the costs down even more.
4. Busy school supplies last
When it comes to notebooks, pens, pencils, markers, cases etc, big retailers like Target and Staples will mark the prices down tremendously just before the back to school shopping season closes and the markdowns can be major - I'm talking dollar and cent bargains! So if you aren't in a hurry, it's a good idea to wait to buy your school supplies.
5. Consider buying used and refurbished
Especially when it comes to textbooks and electronics, you can save a ton of money by purchasing these items preowned (or refurbished for electronics). Slightly used books and refurbished electronics are considerably cheaper than brand new ones and a lot of times if the items are in great condition, you may not even be able to tell the difference between new and used.
6. Save your receipts
Be sure to check back on the purchases you made at the end of the back to school season to see if they have been discounted further. If they have, many retailers will give you a price adjustment or partial refund on the price difference but you will need to have a receipt to get it.
Have you scored any major bargains with your back to school shopping? Have some tips or tricks to share? Happy back to school shopping!