Summer will be over soon and the kids will be heading back to school.
I know it is hot outside and the last thing you want to think about school shopping. You know the saying "the early bird gets the worm" well it applies to school shopping. If you wait until the last minute not only will you lose some great savings but some items like backpacks and binders may also be out of stock. Early shopping may also help you beat the crowds and long lines. My oldest is 26 and my youngest is 8 so I have been back to school shopping for a while. I like to start my back to school shopping in July as that is when the stores start the sales. It is also when people have garage sales, I usually find my kids clothes this way. I made a list of ways that I like to save money on back to school shopping.
Shop at home The first thing I like to do to save money is looking around the house and seeing what items from last school season my kids can reuse. I like buying unique quality backpacks for my boys so they can be used for more than a year. My boys love having backpacks that are different from others so they are easy to spot. Other items that you may reuse are clothes if you kids did not outgrow them or ones from older siblings. You may also find items like pencils and folders that are still good to use.
Thrift shops I always check my local thrift shop for clothes for my boys. My boys wear uniforms to school that consist of any color polo and black, blue or tan pants so I am always able to find these items at thrift stores.
Garage sales I always find clothes for my boys at garage sales as well as lunch sacks and sometimes backpacks. My neighborhood just had a garage sale and I also found two cute dresses for myself for $4.00 each.
Ads Now is the time to get the Sunday paper as stores are having back to school sales. This is a great time to not only get clothes but also school supplies like pencils, folders, and more. My favorite ads are from the office supply stores. They usually have great deals like 25 cent paper, 10 cent folders and free, after rebate computer paper. Each week they will have a couple of different items for great prices. They sometimes make you buy a minimum amount to get the deal so I will buy ink or computer paper to meet the amount. You can also price match the ads at another store to avoid the minimum amount. I also find great deals on school supplies at drug stores like Walgreens. Make sure to stock up on items like paper and pencils to replenish later in the school year.
Tax-free weekend Check to see if your state has a tax-free weekend for back to school shopping. I live in New Mexico and ours is August 5th-August 7th. This is a great time to buy anything from clothes to computers and not have to pay sales tax on these items. Even if you don't have kids in school you can take advantage of this. If you need a new computer that would mean big savings. Most states have a list of which items are tax-free. Here is the list for my state New Mexico tax-free list, I was surprised at the items that have no tax, like cloth diapers. I like to buy shoes, undies, and socks this weekend.
Price matching I hate shopping at lots of stores so I will gather the ads and price match sale items to avoid wasting gas and time.
Clothing swaps Check your school district or Craigslist to see if there are any clothing swaps. My city Albuquerque is having a clothing swap August 6th and this is a great way to get clothes for your kids. Click here for more details http://www.aps.edu/events/clothes-swap-meet-4
Craigslist A great way to get items like clothes is Craigslist. You can score some great deals on clothes.
Friends Ask friends and neighbors who have older kids if they have any clothes that their kids have outgrown. Many probably have a bag ready to go to the thrift store and would love to give them to you to not have to drive them over there. I have a wonderful friend at church who has a son who is 2 years older than mine and she has blessed me over the years with clothes for my two younger boys.
Health and back to school fairs I love fairs for picking up pencils and pens. My town has several that even give out backpacks to the kids. Search for them online. Click on this link to get more information on one that is at the Albuquerque fairgrounds August 7th. The kids can get a free backpack filled with supplies, health screenings, and even a haircut.
This is just some of the many ways to save money on school supplies, I am sure there are many more. Feel free to add your ways to save money in the comment section. Back to school is a special time for kids and can be expensive so I hope these tips will help you save some money. I like to use the saved money on a new backpack for my boys. This year they chose this cool "Zombie" backpack from http://www.bixbee.com/. I love the many different features of this bag. My boys just love the way it looks and they are excited for school to start so they can show it to their friends. This backpack has many pockets to organize all their supplies and has padded straps to make it comfortable to carry. It is very room so it will hold all their books and folders. This place also has many other backpacks along with lunchboxes for boys and girls that are stylish and unique. Check them out at the below link.
You can save 20% off the purchase of a backpack with code BIXBEESUMMER (all caps) at checkout. The code is good for one use per customer.
"These opinions are my own and I received the "Zombie" backpack from Bixxbee.com to facilitate this post."