Between new backpacks, textbooks, a long list of supplies and a fresh autumn wardrobe, most parents are looking at a bill of close to $700 for school-related expenses this season. Be proactive and save big! Read on for our handy list of back-to-school shopping hacks that will help you keep more money in your wallet.
Plan to shop five times
To take full advantage of sales and clearance events throughout the summer, plan on making five shopping trips this season so you can get the best prices when they are offered.
While prices are low, buy enough school supplies to last through the first half of the year or more. You’ll save a ton and not have the hassle of buying more later.
Take advantage of loss leaders
Every week this season, retailers sell one product at a super-low price. This is their loss leader: an item priced so cheaply that retailers actually lose money on sales. Make sure you catch those deals!
Shop the dollar store
Before you hit the regular stores, shop for real bargains at dollar stores like Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar General.
Buy designer backpacks online
Check out sites like 6PM and eBags for fantastic deals on designer backpacks.
Use manufacturer coupons
Check out circulars, like RedPlum, and coupon sites, like Retailmenot.com, for manufacturer coupons from supply companies.
Decode price tags
Here’s how these popular stores mark their lowest prices:
- The Gap: Ending in $.97
- Target: Ending in an 8
- Old Navy: Ending in $.47
- TJMaxx: Yellow price tag
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Coordinate with other parents
If you’re in Walmart when they have bargain-priced pencils, offer to buy a few boxes for your friend’s kids. And, when your friend finds the super-hot deal on crayons, he’ll pick up a few boxes for your kids.
Check out gift-card sites
Save big by buying discounted gift cards to stores like Michael’s and JCPenney on sites like GiftCardGranny and Raise.
Use the Amazon App
Have your phone handy when shopping so you can comparison-shop when buying your supplies. If an item is cheaper on Amazon, why buy it at a store?
Sign up for promotional mail
- H&M: Save 20% on one item when you text your email address to 707-03
- Kohl’s: Save 15% off your entire order by texting SAVE15 to 564-57
- Old Navy: Sign up for a weekly text alert by texting 6046 to 653-689 and get a $5 coupon; and also sign up for promo emails on OldNavy.com to get a 30%-off coupon
- Crazy8: Sign up for emails and receive 18% off your next order plus free shipping
- The Children’s Place: Input your email address in the pop-up box on TheChildrensPlace.com and get a $10 coupon.
Take advantage of price-matching
Lots of stores, like Office Depot, Staples and Target, offer to match any competitor’s price.
Shop early in the week
Weekly sales go live on Sundays and the best deals get grabbed first. Shop Sundays and Mondays, and never miss out on a great deal again.