It is back-to-school season, and you probably have a mile-long list of items to purchase. The good news is that you don’t need to break the budget during the second-biggest shopping season of the year. Here are six back-to-school shopping hacks to get you started.
Don’t set foot in a single store without first checking to see what you have at home. You may have stocked up on lined paper in the spring, or maybe you bought some autumn wear for your child at the end-of-season sale last year. Keep a running list of everything you find so you know exactly what you have before you spend money on new supplies and clothing.
Shop with a list
When shopping for anything, it’s best to start out with a clear goal of what you plan to buy. This way, you will be less likely to overspend and come home with bags of items you don’t really need. Make a list before hitting the mall, the school supplies store and even before shopping online.
Divide and conquer
The circulars are packed with specials on school supplies all summer long. The problem is that, while one store is offering a great deal on crayons this week, another store is running a sale on pencils – and the stores are across town from each other. You don’t want to spend all weekend hunting down supplies, and you don’t want to lose all your savings to fill the tank of your car either. Keep your savings, and your sanity, by teaming up with another school parent. Divide the school supply list between the two of you, pooling costs and paying back as necessary. This way, while one of you can go pick up the crayons at half-price in Walmart, the other can load up on marked-down pencils at Staples.
Let your children choose some items on their own
Teach your children a lesson in budgeting by allowing them to shop for one or more of the costlier items they need now on their own. For example, you can have your middle-schooler choose and pay for their own backpack. Set a reasonable budget together, but let your child do the actual choosing and paying on their own. They will learn how to make responsible money choices and so much more.
Save some purchases for later
Yes, your child will be starting school soon and they will need some supplies and clothing before the big first day. But the stores won’t be going anywhere, and there is no need to purchase a complete autumn wardrobe before Labor Day. Waiting a bit for the mid-season sales will save you a great deal of money. As a bonus, shopping without the pressure of having everything ready for the new school year will help you make better money choices.
Take advantage of exclusive savings with Benefits Plus®
Once you’ve upgraded your basic checking account to a Benefits Plus® checking with SeaComm, you can shop Office Depot and Office Max for low prices (in store and online,) and save up to 50% on school supplies, including paper, binders, calculators, correction tape, pens, markers and more! With a Benefits Plus® membership, you will also save up to 15% on retail gift cards and enjoy up to 10% off eGift cards! Click here to learn more or visit your local SeaComm branch location to enroll.
For complete information, terms, conditions and exclusions please visit www.benefits-plus.org or call 866-329-7587.