Cash-saving tips for back-to-school shopping without busting your budget.
- Take Inventory—Consider what you’ll actually need before hitting the stores. Has your child grown out of their schools clothes or will they do so by September? Can you reuse last year’s school supplies or will you need to replace some items?
- Set a Budget—Create a shopping list and stick to it, so you avoid impulse purchases. That fancy-schmancy Transformers’ Trapper Keeper can push your budget over the edge.
- Use Coupons—There may be great deals, but coupons can make them even greater. Check out sites like RetailMeNot.com that offer a wide selection of online, printable and mobile coupons for back to school savings.
- Shop Early—Stores are rolling out their best deals of the year early in the shopping season. As they say, the early bird gets the worm.
- Go Mobile—Tap into your mobile phone with apps like “RedLaser,” which allows you to scan bar codes and find any cheaper prices online or at other retailers.
- Check Social Media—Twitter and Facebook are great places to find deals offered to a brand’s social-media fan base. “Like” or “Follow” the merchant and keep an eye out for coupons and sales announcements.
- Buy in Bulk—Take advantage of bulk offers on pens, crayons, paper and other items your kids will burn through over the course of the year. You might team up with other parents for bigger bulk purchases that will bring prices down even lower.
- Spend more to save more—Sometimes it costs money to save money. For example, retailers often offer a 15-percent savings pass for purchases of a set minimum amount.
- Exchange—Gather your family and friends — along with their kid’s school wardrobes — for an exchange night of hand-me-downs that will save everyone money.
- Wait until Labor Day—Labor Day is the traditional time for big sales on school clothing. You might take a chance and wait until then to buy items for a fall and winter wardrobe for your child.
- Buy for yourself—Back-to-school sales aren’t just for kids. You might stock up on office supplies, jeans and other items that traditionally go on sale during this season.
Consumer and money saving expert, Andrea Woroch, has been featured on NBC Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, ShopSmart Magazine, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. To view recent interviews or for more savings tips, visit AndreaWoroch.com.