All Financial Education

Back-to-School Shopping Tips

August 18, 2015

Four children holding their books and backpacks ready for school to start.

It seems like as soon as the 4th of July ends, we start getting bombarded with back-to-school promotional fliers. But it can be hard to figure out where the real deals are–whether its best to buy online or in the store, buy early or wait until the last minute. Check out our top tips on how to get all the supplies you need while saving a few bucks.

Start Early

You generally know what your student is going to need the following year, so start looking early. As you see good deals throughout the year, take advantage of them. Buying a little at a time is also good for the pocketbook, so it doesn’t take a huge hit all at once.

Check Dollar Stores, Garage Sales and Thrift Stores

Dollar stores are a great place to find inexpensive items like, pens, notebooks and glue all for, yes, only a dollar! Although it may take a little more work searching through items, you’ll always come out ahead looking for You can always get great deals on new, or almost new items and garage sales and thrift stores.

Shop End-of-Summer Sales

We all know that kids wear short sleeved shirts all year round. Take advantage of the end-of-summer sales. Buy those clothes that you can make work for the rest of the year. Even a tank top can work if you pair it with a cardigan or sweatshirt that you already have at home.

Buy in Bulk

If you have more than one child or a child that is going to go through a lot of a certain supply, buy it in bulk. You can even go in on items with friends or neighbors and split them up equally which can save a lot of money.

Look for Online Sales and Deals

Buying online can sometimes be a lot cheaper and a lot less headache then heading to the store during this busy time of year. Look at places like Amazon that have free shipping with a minimum purchase, but where you are also going to save by not having to pay sales tax. Another place to look for online savings is ebay and Craigslist. Visiting these two sites is like shopping at the thrift store without having to deal with the crowds.

Final Word

When it comes to back-to-school shopping, it pays to be prepared. Start as soon as you can and whittle away at that list little by little. Also, work together with your friends and family to find and share deals. Although back-to-school shopping can seem like a daunting task, remember to stay positive, this is also a great time of year for you and your children. Don’t get too wrapped up in the shopping part that you miss out on the fun of heading back to school.