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Back-to-school shopping: for many families, it’s a dreaded time of year. School supply lists seem to get ever longer as teachers receive less funding and, as a result, rely more on families to acquire the necessary supplies. If you’re hoping to save a little on your back-to-school shopping efforts this year, try some of these simple strategies.
Tip #1: Check Your Lists
What do your kids really need for back-to-school season this year? Before you start shopping, put together a solid list that includes everything they really need for this important season. Make sure you include items like new tennis shoes, updates to their wardrobes, backpacks, and lunchboxes. This will allow you to develop a more realistic idea of what they really need once school starts.
Tip #2: Wait a Little Longer
In many cases, you’ll get supply lists with items that’ll be used all year long: four boxes of crayons and three packs of glue sticks, and so much Kleenex you’ll wonder where the teacher puts it all. You don’t have to have all those items for the first day of school! Instead, wait until around September to make those purchases. Many retailers will discount their school supplies heavily in an effort to move inventory, which means you’ll get better deals.
Tip #3: Know When to Stock Up
Notebook paper is fifty cents or less per pack? Crayons are selling for a quarter for the good brand? It’s time to stock up on items that’ll need to be replaced throughout the year. Don’t fall into the trap of picking up stacks of items unless they’re on sale. Instead, wait until the deals roll in to stock up on items that your kids will need throughout the school year.
Tip #4: Know What Your Kids Will Really Use
There are some adorable supplies out there that are designed to suck your kids in and have them begging for those items. Folders covered in familiar characters, pens in bright colors, and pencils with fun designs are just some of the items sitting on the shelves, encouraging your kids to beg. Will they really be able to use them? For example: in elementary school, most teachers request plain, brightly-colored folders rather than the ones covered with characters. They may want your kids to have plain #2 pencils so that they can keep a class stash instead of having everyone jump up to go to the pencil sharpener all the time—and no teacher wants an assignment written in bright pink pen. With such extensive school supply lists already, don’t be tempted to splurge on items your child doesn’t really need.
Tip #5: Buy Quality
Those colored pencils are on sale for half the price of the name brand. The lunchbox in the clearance section of your local discount store. They should work fine, right? While there are plenty of deals out there that are worth snatching up, make sure that you’re buying quality items! In many cases, you’ll replace lower-quality items more times than it’s worth in an effort to save a little money up front.
Don’t fall into the trap of spending more money than is necessary on back to school supplies. Instead, look for deals that will help make back-to-school shopping less expensive this year. These simple tips will make it easier to save.
Information appearing in this article is obtained from sources we believe are reliable. The information may not be a complete statement of all available data and is not guaranteed as such. Marine FCU is not responsible for the contents of this article and advises its membership to investigate claims before following the information provided.