Back To School Sales Shopping
How to avoid overspending on what stores call "deals."
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: August 10th, 2012
s you help your kids and teens get back in gear for school, they're likely asking you for new school supplies, new school clothes, and in the case of college-aged teens, bigger things like laptops and textbooks. And, unsurprisingly, retailers are on their own side, not your (and your wallet's) side. They roll out sale after sale at the end of the summer, with hopes that you and your family will spend, spend, spend. It can be incredibly easy to overspend and purchase things that your kids won't really need at school, so here's a few tips to stay on budget this fall.
Stick to Basics
Chances are, your kids already have a bunch of school supplies leftover from years prior. If not, you're kind of stuck getting them new stuff, but you don't necessarily have to go top-of-the-line. Plain notebooks are less fun to look at than ones with the Biebs' face plastered on them, but cost a lot less. Besides, if your kids really want to stare at J.B. all day, you can always buy a magazine with a bunch of pictures in it and turn it into a collage project.
Saving money on back-to-school shopping can be as simple as looking a little closer at sale ads and shopping at a few different stores for the best prices.
Hold Off On Buying Clothes
Sure, your kids probably want fresh duds to rock the hallways with, but sometimes it's just not in the cards at the end of the summer. Make a deal that you'll let them pick out a new outfit (or three, or whatever fits your budget) but that they'll have to make do with what they've already been wearing. Alternatively, set up a clothing swap with your children's friends and their parents. Kids may not necessarily want new clothes, just clothes that are new to them; and, like your kids, your kids' friends are probably itching for a new look too.
Check For Discount Days
Some cities and states offer weekends with tax-free shopping, which is a great way to save a little cash, as tax can account for nearly 10 percent extra on the top of your overall costs. Aside from tax-free days, look into sales that are over the course of a few short days, rather than weeks-long "back to school" sales, which, while they offer discounts, don't offer as steep of savings since the deals go on longer.
This is aimed moreso at the college crowd, since younger kids don't have to provide their own textbooks, but buying used books is one of the easiest ways to conserve cash when you're doing your shopping. Check out Amazon as well as the campus' bookstores and scour until you find the cheapest one. Sure, used books have highlighter marks in them most of the time, but look at it this way—someone already found all the important parts for you, so you don't have to go to class (kidding)!