Save Money When Back To School Shopping

July 24, 2018

Dreamstime

With the first day of school less than three weeks away (August 13th for Alachua & Marion County), it's time for back to school shopping as we get the kids ready for class. Parents are expected to spend $685 on back-to-school supplies this year and by shopping smart, you can make sure your dollar goes further. Basic school supplies, such as pens and notebooks, can set a family back by about $122, making it the smallest spending category. Parents can cut down on their expenses by researching prices and delaying some purchases. Most stores will be taking advantage of Florida's back to school sales tax holiday next weekend (August 3rd through the 5th) by offering discounts.  So you have some time to check the inventory you may have from last year. Organizing a swap with other parents can also save money. One family might have an extra notebook that they’d exchange for lined paper, for instance. For big ticket items, like computers, use price tracking software extensions. Camelcamelcamel [CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD] tracks Amazon prices. You can enter the URL of a product and you'll receive an email alert when the price drops. The site also provides a price history, so you can see when a product hit its lowest and highest prices on Amazon. The ShopSavvy app [CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD] scans barcodes to see if there are cheaper prices of items elsewhere. Finally, hold off on apparel until September, when retailer traditionally slash fall clothing prices. A thrifty recommendation is to buy one back-to-school outfit in August and returning the next month to score deals on more apparel. That delay also gives students a chance to check out the current fashion trends at school.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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