5 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

schoolWith back-to-school shopping season in full swing, concerns on how to
afford clothing and educational supplies increase. According to the
National Retail Federation’s latest Back-to-School Survey conducted by
Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family with children in
grades K-12 will spend about $674 on apparel, shoes, supplies and

Here are some tips to save on this pricey time of year:

1. Purge the Closet

grow like weeds. A pair of shoes bought just a month ago might no
longer fit. Rummage through clothing to see what fits and what is in
good condition. Hang onto what you can to pass on to younger siblings,
friends or goodwill. Everything else can be tossed or recycled for a
craft project. Talk to your children to make decisions about what they
could reuse. This encourages a youngster to think creatively about how
to make things last and not waste.

For supplies, look at what the
child has from the previous school year. Do you have unused glue, paper
and folders that are in good shape? Reuse them or, if there is another
child in the household, give them the materials.

2. Make a Budget

need limits, especially financial limits. Sit down with a child and
discuss how much can be spent on clothing, supplies and miscellaneous
items such as a laptop or high-tech gadget for class. Ask the child to
come up with ways to stretch a buck or contribute to the fund.

the child is older and wants an expensive pair of shoes, offer to pay
for half and have him or her come up with the rest. This helps a young
person learn the value of a dollar and build financial planning skills
for the future. An extra benefit: This gives them practice to earn that A
in math.

3. Hit the Thrift Stores

Kids today love a
good “throwback” and enjoy finding cool retro items from goodwill stores
or rummage sales. Perhaps as guardian or parent, you may have some
items in storage that would appeal to the kids in the household.
Grandpa’s vintage jean jacket from 1960 might look awesome to a teen on
the first day of school.

4. Check Online and on Social Media

the web with your child and see if stores such as Target, Walmart,
Office Max, etc. are offering deals via their Twitter, Facebook or other
social media accounts. Many stores post on upcoming sales targeting
back-to-school shoppers. Also look up sites such as Amazon.com or
Overstock.com for cheaper versions of higher-end items. Consider it
virtual rummage sale shopping.

5. Next Year, Start Early

to school time is a rush of papers, book bags and clothing flying off
the racks and shelves. Next year, think about starting shopping around
March and buying certain items such as winter clothing ahead of time
when they’re on clearance. While everyone else is thinking spring, you
will be a savvy shopper thinking about scoring a decent deal on boots
for someone in the family.