These tips are sure to earn you an A+
Shopping for back-to-school items should be a time to get excited for an upcoming year of new adventures. Yet, many people worry that long lines and hefty price tags will sour the whole experience. The truth is, school shopping can be an enjoyable and efficient activity. Here are some pre-shopping tips:
Buy quality: It does not take long for notebooks to rip and rulers to break after the first few months of school. Instead of buying the cheapest supplies in anticipation of the inevitable, opt for sturdy, high-quality products that will last longer. Notebooks and binders with plastic covers, for example, will hold up better than cardboard varieties. As for gear like backpacks and lunch bags, many companies such as L.L. Bean offer excellent warranties for handling things like broken zippers and torn cloth. If an item wears out or breaks sooner than expected, you will be happy to have an inexpensive solution or maybe even a free replacement.
Organize a school swap: Many kids are required to buy a certain type of item or supply one year – a graphing calculator or a specific textbook, for example – but may not need it the next. Get together with neighbors and friends to see if you can make a fair trade. You might have an excess of highlighters and loose-leaf paper that can be exchanged for a protractor or compass. Even clothes can be swapped, so kids will be happy to have a new outfit just as much as you’ll be happy to save money.
Coupons, coupons, coupons: If you take just 15 minutes and browse the newspaper inserts, you will find hundreds of deals for items that are probably on your back-to-school list. Figure out which promotions are worth your while, and which will have you spending more in the long run. Stock up on buy-one-get-one-free products, so you do not spend time and gas later in the school year. Do not forget to check out online coupons, too. You can go to manufacturer’s websites or browse sources like www.couponmom.com and www.couponcabin.com for a wide range of product and service deals.
Back-to-school shopping can be a fun experience for both kids and adults. Be sure to have a game plan to avoid unnecessary stress and money troubles. You should also ask your friends and family members if they have any tips; chances are, they have found their own tricks to master school shopping trips. For more BeMoneySmart saving tips visit us at bemoneysmart.org.