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Back to School Without Breaking the Bank: 3 Ways to Shop Smart

Back to School shopping

Back to school season can translate to a big dip into your savings! Here are a few tips on how to minimize the damage to your bottom line.

Lots of parents breathe a sigh of relief as fall grows closer. The endless summer days will soon be replaced with school and structure – and you won’t have to hear “I’m bored” until Christmas break! While most parents are excited for school to begin, there’s one big issue: start-of-school spending. Once that list comes out, so does the credit card. What are some easy ways to save while still keeping your kids prepared?

1. Shop Solo

It sounds crazy, but keeping the kids at home (or maybe enjoying one last day at the pool) can be helpful to your wallet. While it’s good to get their ideas for some items like clothes or shoes, the major school supply shopping should be done solo. The higher-price items, such as a Frozen-themed backpack or a binder with their favorite singer, are enticing to kids and can add up quickly. Not only do they come at a higher price, they’re more likely to be seasonal. With your child (or two, or three) in tow, it gets hard to say no to the cool backpack. If one of your children needs a new set of markers, it’s difficult to say no when their siblings want some, too. Suddenly, you have the entire school supply aisle sitting in your shopping cart! Swing by the store solo and you can buy only what they need, without any protests!

2. Stick to the Basics

On that note, skip the trends altogether. The popular movie that your son loves will be old news by next school year – and his folders, binders, and notebooks might be, too. Buy quality items in solid, basic colors. Orange might be the new black, but primary colors never go out of style. This can bring you savings for years to come! If you’ve got a die-hard PAW Patrol fan, make a compromise. For example, their folders can be cool and trendy, but their backpack is cartoon-free.

3. Quality Over Quantity

We’ve all been there – it’s tempting to scrimp and save as much as we can during the back-to-school shopping. However, spending a little more now could save you a lot later. Buy things from quality stores that you trust. Consider shopping locally; you’re supporting a community member, and they’re more likely to make it right if an item breaks too soon. Invest in items like a strong three-ring binder, durable backpacks, and a solid lunch box.

If you take the time to shop smart, you can end up with some long-lasting, durable pieces that will keep your kids happy for the upcoming school year and beyond! Most importantly, you’ll save money. More money in your pocket means more money that can go to school field trips, the science fair project, and anything in between.