Controlling Back To School Costs

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It’s time to start shopping for “back to school” items.  Getting your children ready to go back to school can be a costly prospect.  There are some things you can do to minimize costs, however.

Shop At The Thrift Stores

Shopping at thrift stores is good for the environment and for your budget.  In addition, you can find never used items at the thrift store!  I like to shop for jeans at the local thrift store.  Not only do they have name brand jeans, many of them still have the department store tags hanging from their pockets.  If I wait until Wednesday, I can get the name brand, never worn jeans at half price too!

Shop The Sales

I make sure to buy the Sunday paper to see who has the best sales at this time of year.  You can save quite a bit of money by shopping and buying items at different stores.  Today, I shopped for paper goods and school supplies because our state has a “tax free” holiday.  In addition, I found a coupon for $5 off my total purchase if I shopped at a certain store today.  I saved around $10 today with no great effort on my part.

Make A List

This sounds silly, but it can save you quite a bit of money.  I usually make a list, and I also list what items I want to buy at what store.   In our area, many of the stores are close together, so it pays to shop at different stores.  If you live in a very rural area, it may cost more because of the cost of the gas than you will save by shopping at different stores.  Be sure to figure gas costs into your savings. If you have to drive long distances to shop at different stores, it might be cheaper just shopping at one local store instead of traveling to other stores.

Making a list also helps to keep you(and your kids) focused on the task. Without a list, it’s easy to go shopping and overspend.  It’s also easy to purchase more than you need while neglecting other needed items.

Shop Early

I like to shop early in the morning. Firstly, the stores are usually stocked better in the morning, which means that sales items are usually in stock. Secondly, I don’t have to deal with large crowds or lines when paying for purchases in our urban area.  A bonus to shopping early is that the children are usually in a good mood(even the toddler) and since they’ve just had breakfast, I don’t have to stop to buy them snacks or drinks.  This also saves money.  If at all possible, I like to shop on a weekday instead of a weekend. 

It is possible to control “back to school costs”, it just takes a little bit of planning!  By following these steps, you should be able to make going back to school more affordable.

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