With the new school year fast approaching, parents will look to save money on school supplies wherever they can. Gone are the days of the usual pens, pencils, and notebooks. These days the list of school-supplies can include electronic notebooks, iPads, laptops, wireless earbuds, portable power stations, backpacks, and yes, a new wardrobe. Costs add up quickly. A 2018 Backpack Index study that tracks classroom supply and fee costs found on average that parents will spend: $637 for elementary students, $941 for middle school students and $1,355 for high school students.
To save money on school supplies it’s best to develop a shopping strategy—buy supplies gradually, look for sales, or start a school supply savings account with your children (It will teach them the value of saving!). Here are a few tips and ways to save on school supplies.
Shop after Labor Day
The best time to shop for school supplies is well after school has started. If you can hold off buying until September you can save big. The fact is July and August is the time when retailers want you to go shopping for school supplies. It’s also when the supplies are at full price. After Labor Day, the price of school supplies drop dramatically and go on clearance once demand begins to fall off.
Hold Off on New Clothes for School
Growing children and new clothes go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t mean to buy them a new wardrobe for school each year. Like other school supplies, hold off on purchasing new clothing until the prices begin to drop in the fall when retailers typically slash clothing prices. Keep an eye for summer sales to buy at least one new outfit for the first day of school. Thrift stores offer big savings, too. They often receive manufacturer’s closeouts—that’s high-quality, new clothing for a bargain.
Shop Ahead for the Following Year
By the end of September into October, prices on school supplies will taper off substantially. If you have the space to set aside a cache of school supplies for the following school year, then this is a good time to buy. During the fall months, when the price of school supplies goes down, start to gradually stock up on supplies your children will need for the following school year. You will save big!
Never By What You Already Own
Why buy what you do not need? When you take your child school shopping, frequently many will make an impulsive purchase on an item without remembering that they already own it. This happens to the best of us. Before shopping, do an inventory around the house and take note of what supplies you already have. Like most, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of unused office and school supplies you have on hand.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Use social media to your advantage. Follow your favorite stores on Twitter or Facebook. Many offer links to coupons and gives advance notice of sales. You can sign up to notices from such stores as Staples: @Staples, Office Max, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Best Buy, Target or Kohl’s, and save big!
Only Buy Supplies That are Needed
These days, parents can visit their local school’s websites to see what supplies are actually needed. Many teachers provide a detailed list of the supplies their students will need during the school year. They will also post when a particular book or supply will be used. In other words, save your money and hold off purchasing those books in September that will not be assigned until January or February.
Need Additional Cash Fast?
Finally, if you are short on cash for school supplies, Tio Rico Te Ayuda is a licensed lender that provides easy short-term cash loans for their customers. They offer registration loans for big-ticket items, as well as personal loans for smaller purchases. A registration loan allows borrowers to use their car title instead of their credit score. They are determined by the amount of cash you need, your vehicle’s value, and your ability to pay back the loan. Many people choose personal loans to get fast, easy short-term cash advances. They are a flexible solution for borrowing as little as $100 or as much as $1000.
Saving money on school supplies can be challenging. Learn to develop a strategy for shopping that includes holding off on purchases until clearance sales, taking stock of what you already have, and only purchasing what you need when it’s needed. If you require funds for school supplies, look to Tio Rico Te Ayuda for easy, quick short-term cash solutions for the coming school year.