BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING: SAVE MONEY BY SPREADING IT OUT

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Submitted Date 08/16/2019
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It's that time again when parents all over America are scrambling to get their kid's school supplies and new clothes and hoping they will have enough money to cover the costs. I, too, used to be a part of this crowd, but over the years I have realized it is much easier on my nerves and on my budget to spread the costs out throughout the year. Not leaving it all to the end of July or beginning of August also keeps me out of the stores when the crazy back-to-school shopping rush hits. I try to keep around $100 each month to get what I need throughout the year.


Stock Up at Sales Times


Now, I guess I don't completely miss the back to school shopping sales. I will hit the sales if something is a really good deal, but I won't just buy the minimum amount I need. I will stock up on those items while they are cheap. As parents, we all know that just because we get that list at the beginning of the school year, that doesn't mean our shopping for the year is done. Folders get torn apart and crayons get broken, so there are times throughout the year when the kids need more. I make sure I stock up and have them on hand so I don't have to spend a fortune when money might be tight.


Buy Bulk Supplies


At one point, I had 4 kids in school, so I went through lots of folders and supplies. Many office supply stores offer discounts when items like folders are bought in bulk. I would look for these deals and stock up when they were available. This keeps the costs down and within budget and leaves me with folders on hand when they are needed.


Clothes Shop Year-round


Unlike many parents, we don't do a back to school clothes shopping trip. Every month I will check out clearance sections in the department stores and megastores and purchase clothes for the kids at a clearance price. This type of shopping usually saves me hundreds of dollars a year. At the end of winter and summer, when the stores change over their clothes, they usually put the previous season's clothes on big clearances. I will take advantage of this and purchase clothes for next year. My kids average a gain of one size a year, so I can make a good guess as to what they will be wearing the following year.


Dollar Stores


Dollar stores are a great place to grab school supplies without having to spend a bundle. I average a trip to the dollar stores about once a week and will pick up things that the kids might need during those trips. One item I always stock up on at the dollar stores when they get them in is 3-ring binders. At standard stores these can run as high as five or six dollars, so keeping a few on hand that only cost a dollar can save you. One thing to remember about these stores is they don't always have certain items, so when they do, stock up.


Keep a Storage Area for All Your Shopping


All kids enjoy the fun of having new supplies and new clothes for school and doing your shopping year-round does not mean they can't still experience that excitement. I keep everything I purchase throughout the year hidden away so when the first day of school gets closer, I can pull out a surprise and the kids have all-new back to school clothes and supplies.
 

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