5 Great Ways to Save on Your Back To School Shopping List

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated August 10, 2018

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Money Saving Tips
August 10, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Back to school shopping doesn’t have to break the bank. When you save on back to school shopping for your kids, you can maximize your budget and get them everything they need to succeed.

Some states have weekends where sales tax on common school supplies are waived. Each state that has this promotion has its own product categories and price restrictions, so make sure that you know what falls under these tax exemptions.

You can cut your costs on big-ticket items by looking for secondhand and refurbished options. Thrift stores are excellent for clothing, and many electronics manufacturers have certified refurbished products that are just as good as new. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay and other sites are great to check out as well.

Take an inventory of the current school supplies before you go shopping. You may find that you already have the basics covered through the purchases from the previous year. Keeping track of all of the items is also useful so you can restock when they run low.

Brands often have exclusive promotions and coupons that they only send through a certain channel. When you download their apps, follow their social media pages and sign up for their newsletters, you limit the chances that you miss particularly good deals. Deal aggregation sites can also help you keep track of the best deals.

Spread your back to school spending throughout the year to make it easier to budget. When you see great sales on school supplies, stock up on the items that your children are most likely to need. Big ticket purchases, such as electronics, have major discounts during Black Friday, Prime Day and other shopping holidays. You can save hundreds of dollars simply by picking these up at the right time.

If your children are heading to college, a great way to help them outfit their dorm room is by going to campuses at the end of the spring semester and buying mini fridges, desks and other furniture for cheap. Sometimes you can even snag them for free.

Back to school doesn’t have to equal an empty wallet. When you use these tips, you’re going to get more for your money and spend less of it.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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