Tips to Beat Back to School Costs

The start of a new school year is just around the corner, and parents across the country are preparing to get their kids ready to return to school. Sending your kids back to school is bound to get expensive and overwhelming, especially between school supply lists, clothes and electronics. The National Retail Federation estimates that the average family will spend $669.28 on clothes, shoes, supplies and electronics, preparing for their kids to go back to school.

While you may not be able to avoid the back to school buying frenzy, these tips can help you beat the back to school costs.

Tip 1: If you are buying for multiple children, make your OWN list from all of the kids’ lists.

Making a combined list of all of the kids needed school supplies will allow you to see the exact amount of everything you need. This way you will not be buying more than needed, or duplicates of things that are unnecessary. This can also allow you to buy items in bulk, if needed.

Tips 2: Start Your Shopping At Home

Once you have determined what it is you exactly need, look in your own home for school supplies that you may have accumulated over this past school year. Chances are you probably have binders, pencils or highlighters left over from last year.

It also important to make an inventory of each child’s clothes, to help you from overbuying. Determine which clothes still fit your child, which items they agree to still wear, and which items should be donated to charity.

Tip 3: Shop Early in order to take advantage of Store Specific Savings and Coupons

Starting your school shopping early allows you to take advantage of store-specific savings and coupons. Most major stores offer some kind of discount or loyalty program that can give you extra savings, either right at the register or down the road.

When it comes to school clothing, many apparel and shoe stores also provide discounts in the form of Web-based coupons. These printable discounts are either available on the store’s website or offered to customers who join the company’s e-newsletter list.

Tip 4: Shop on Your Tax-Free Holiday 

Nearly half of all U.S. states now designate a few days in late summer where school-related items can be purchased free of sales tax. Clothing and shoes under a certain dollar amount are usually included in the list of eligible items to help parents save on back-to-school costs. Some states allow tax-free purchases of school supplies as well.

If you are unsure whether your state has a sales-tax holiday or the tax-free requirements, check the website of your state’s department of revenue. If your state does not have a tax-free holiday, consider driving to a nearby state to participate in theirs, if possible.

How do you beat back to school costs? Let us know below.