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Back-to-School tips when you’re on a budget


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(StatePoint) Between new clothes and new school supplies, back-to-school season can put a strain on household budgets.

In 2015, families planned to spend $630 on back-to-school items, according to the National Retail Federation, and this year’s numbers are also expected to be pricey. With a little planning, your family can get the most out of your school shopping budget by taking advantage of sales, comparison shopping, buying in bulk and simply by making sure you don’t buy things you already own.

Here are some smart ways families can reduce costs as students head back to class this fall.

End-of-Season Sales

Take advantage of end-of-season sales to stock up. This concept may not help you this fall, but it’s a great habit to adopt now for long-term savings. You can stock up on summer clothes now and great fall items once the weather gets chillier. Stores will be offering deep discounts and clearance prices on items that eventually will come in handy for next back-to-school season. Remember to take into account that kids grow quickly!

Add it Up

Bigger ticket school supply items can cost you a pretty penny if you don’t comparison shop.

For example, required tools like a high-quality graphing calculator can come with a price tag of $75 or more! Get more for your money with an affordable model, such as Casio’s fx-9750GII, which retails for under $50. It offers useful features like a high resolution screen and compatibility with a personal computer. It is also permitted to be used in such major tests as the ACT and the SAT. More information about calculators can be found at CasioEducation.com.

Take Stock and Buy in Bulk

Don’t buy things you already own, and take advantage of bulk discounts for the stuff you need! Before making your shopping list take stock of what school supplies you already have in your closets — and your child’s backpack — from the last school year. From scissors to folders to unused or partially used notebooks, you may already have many things your kids need for the year ahead.

For those necessities that kids will need all year long — such as tape, paper, pens, pencils, markers and more — take advantage of bulk sales at discount stores and online retailers. Buying more now can save you cash in the months ahead.

Go Green

Brown bags, plastic baggies and plastic silverware are small expenses that add up quickly. Instead, opt for reusable lunch container alternatives and a one-time expense. It’s not only good for the planet, but kids will get on board if you let them pick items that speak to their sense of style. You’ll also save yourself trips to the store!

Don’t let back-to-school make a hefty dent in your wallet. At the store, take advantage of great deals and also consider different ways of eliminating perennial expenses.

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Save on Everything for Back-to-School with these Smart Tips and Tricks


 

(c) HaveZein - Fotolia.com Back-to-school shopping for students of any age can be expensive, but with the right knowledge, there are plenty of ways to save time and money.

(c) HaveZein – Fotolia.com
Back-to-school shopping for students of any age can be expensive, but with the right knowledge, there are plenty of ways to save time and money.

(StatePoint) Whether your kids are school playground-bound or college-bound, the back-to-school season can be an expensive time of year. Families with children in grades K-12 plan to spend an average $673.57 while college students and families with children in college plan to spend an average of $888.71, according to a National Retail Federation 2016 annual survey.

Where are their dollars going? The top five back-to-school supplies searched for are Crayola ColorStudio iMarker, BIC Pencil Xtra, TI 84 graphing calculator, Brita filtration water bottle and Crayola Washable Erase, according to Qmee, an online shopping companion.

So how can you save on these popular items and more when shopping?

“Whether it’s a calculator, backpack or dorm furniture, before making a purchase, it’s important to do your research. Educated shoppers always get the best deals,” says Jonathan Knight, Co-Founder and CEO, Qmee.

Shopping online is the best way to save time and be sure you’re getting a good deal, says Knight, who recommends a few strategies for how parents can get more bang from their back-to-school buck:

  • Price check: Price comparison tools can help you know for sure whether you’re getting the best deal on any given item. These tools automatically research what you’re searching for to show you the best prices available.
  • Use coupons. These days you don’t need to spend hours scanning the paper with scissors. Online coupons and discount codes can help you save big at checkout. Before clicking “Purchase,” always verify whether any such deals are available.
  • Connect: Brands are looking to connect with their consumers online. In some cases, you can earn cash for your everyday searches by clicking on relevant ads. Likewise, by sharing your valued consumer opinion through surveys, many brands will reward you with cash.
  • Use shopping tools: Download a free browser app which will automatically allow you to earn cash for your everyday searches, and also find the best coupon codes while you shop online. For example, online search and save companion Qmee unobtrusively becomes part of your browser to work with search engines and commerce sites such as Google, Bing, Amazon and Walmart, to help you search for what you want, compare prices, secure discounts and offer opinions while earning cash. It’s a good tool to help college kids stick to a budget while shopping for everything from books to dorm supplies. For more information or to download, visit Qmee.com.

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