Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated November 12, 2017

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Money Saving Tips
July 28, 2015

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

As summer ends, the annual rite of the back-to-school shopping trip looms large. The list of supplies your child needs for school is always massive. It’s no longer limited to pens and pencils — your child probably also needs electronics like computers and internet access. Oh, for the days of the Trapper Keeper! Here are a few tips you can use to keep your back-to-school shopping manageable.

Many of the items your kid needs for the first day of school, they still had on the last day of school last year. You might not be able to salvage the notebooks — hopefully, they’re full of notes and assignments — but the pens, pencils, and backpack might still be usable. Dig out last year’s supplies first and identify everything you can use. That should trim a good portion of your school supplies bill.

Dollar stores are the perfect option for the smaller, standard goods you have to buy, such as notebooks and pencils. Obviously, the items are priced very reasonably at a dollar per package. This makes it easy for you to buy bulk, which will in turn drive down how much you have to spend.

It pays to start early and keep an eye out for sales, especially when it comes to higher-priced items like clothes and electronics. Since colleges usually start classes sooner than high school and elementary school, sales for many school-related purchases begin earlier than you might think. Start paying attention to commercials and ads for clothes and electronics at the end of July to find the best deals.

If you can demonstrate your child is currently enrolled in school, many major computer manufacturers offer special deals on some of their models. Some internet providers also lower their rates on their basic service packages to families with school-aged children. You can find these deals online by going to the relevant computer manufacturer or internet service provider’s site. You may also consider reaching out to your child’s school, as some districts have special relationships and purchase agreements with computer and internet providers.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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