8 Easy Back-to-School Money Saving Tips

The Back-to-School shopping season is off and running! Stores have swapped their summer merchandise for fall clothing and back-to-school essentials, so I hope you don’t need any summer clothes anymore. The National Retail Federation estimates that parents of school-age children will spend $635 on back-to-school shopping this year. That’s a boatload of money and I don’t know about you but I would rather keep more of that in my pocket this year.

Back-to-School shopping can be a little daunting but here are some money saving and bargain shopping tips to make this season a little easier on the wallet.

Do you have your school supply list and have you checked it twice?

1. Always have your school supplies list with you. You never know when you’ll run into a bargain somewhere. Start checking off the items as you buy them to avoid duplicates.

2. Only buy what you need. Your kids are constantly growing and while you think their clothes from last year might still fit, they might not. Starting now, have your kids do a fashion show for you to see what in their closet still fits and what can be given away. Now you can make a list of what clothes, shoes, backpacks, and other accessories you need so you don’t over buy.

3. Wait to buy school clothes until after Labor Day. You’ll see more coupons and sales running then. Also, it never ceases to amaze me that after I buy my son new jeans in August, he grows an inch in September. There’s nothing worse than having a bag full of new clothes that your kids suddenly can’t wear. Wait until late September to make sure any last minute growth spurts are out of the way.

4. Search online for coupons to your favorite stores. There are all kinds of coupon sites out there to help you find a code. Don’t forget to check the store’s site directly. Some store sites offer coupons to new customers for signing up for their e-newsletters or listing their own coupons and deals.

5. Conduct a Scavenger Hunt. We just cleaned out our basement and I was amazed at home many unused and even unopened school supplies my kids have brought home every year that were just piling up in boxes out of the way. So, send your kids on a scavenger hunt throughout the house to see if you have pencils, mostly unused notebooks, rulers, binders, index cards, glue sticks, etc. Why spend the money if you don’t have to.

6. Check second-hand clothes shops or garage sales for kids clothes. Many times, these clothes were never worn and still have the tag on them. Some churches and Moms groups have used clothing sales so keep your eye out.

7. Host a neighborhood kids clothes swap. If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids or if you have a lot of friends with kids all different ages, host a clothes swap. Have all the Moms over for some chocolate cake. Tell them to bring their kids’ gently used clothes and see if you can swap. Set up a Yahoo! Group and have your friends and neighbors list their sizes before the swap meet.

8. Finally, remember to write your kid’s name on the tag of their coat/jacket, backpack, lunch bag, etc. Stuff always gets lost but you might have a better chance of reclaiming it from the school Lost and Found box if you label it. Then you won’t have to spend more money replacing items.

So relax, take a deep breath and bring on the Back-to-School Season! Read my other Back-to-School Sanity Saving Tips for Mom for a stress-free season or for some fun ideas, check out my Back-to-School Board on Pinterest.

What other tips do you have for saving money during Back-to-School season?

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