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Back to School, Back To Saving

Back-to-school shopping season is here and in full swing. Unfortunately, this time of year can also mean your bank account takes a hit. The National Retail Federation estimates that parents of school-age children will spend about $635 on back-to-school shopping this year!

If you think that’s more than you spent last year, it probably is. Huntington Bank’s annual Backpack Index, which measures the total cost of a typical school supply list, notes that the cost of school supplies for kids K-12 has risen 7.3% since 2012.

If you have multiple children, you might have lots of big, red, scary numbers flashing in your mind. But don’t worry – we have some tips that will help you cut back on costs, because there really is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies!
  • Conduct a school supply “audit” of your household.
Unless this is the first time you’re sending a child off to school, you probably have school supplies somewhere in your house from the year before. Get your kids involved and go on a scavenger hunt! Pens and pencils are easy to buy, but when you already have plenty that weren’t used last year, they become an added cost. You can save money, and help the environment, by reusing items like binders, rulers and scissors, etc.
  • Plan and make a list.
Now that you know what you have, make a list to take to the store with you. Retailers know how to make the displays attractive to convince you to buy a few extra things that your kids don’t really need. Only buy the necessary items so you aren’t shocked when you get to the checkout.
  • Buy now!
The end of the summer, right before school starts is when retailers put on their biggest sales. It may be hectic and crowded in stores, but that’s when you’ll get the best deals. If you stick to your list and stay focused, you should be able to get through there quickly!
  • Focus on the big ticket items.
Pick a few of the most expensive items on your list and research where to find the best deals. Special prices on writing utensils won’t save you that much money, but if you’re able to save on a backpack or calculator that will make an impact on your final bill.
  • Shop on tax-free weekend.
Georgia’s tax-free holiday is August 9-10 this year and can save you LOTS of money. Clothing, technology and supplies for the classroom are all included, so if you’re looking to save big, this is the weekend to do it.
Have any money-saving shopping tips that you use? Tell us on our Facebook page! We’d love to hear them. Happy shopping!

Article submitted by Jeff