Did you know the average American parent will spend about $700 per child this shopping season? If that’s likely to throw a damper on your summer, take a deep breath and relax. You don’t need to spend yourself into debt just because everyone else seems to be doing it. Instead, take a proactive approach when shopping for the new school year and spend much less than the national average. Here are 10 ways to save on back-to-school shopping.
1. Go crazy for coupons - Use coupon sites for percentage-off or money-off coupons to help you save big.
2. Shop the dollar store - Before hitting the big-box stores and their big-box prices, scour your local dollar store for school supplies that will only cost a buck.
3. Get backpacks at your local thrift store or check out the neighborhood garage sales for gently used packs backpacks.
4. Shop on Sunday and Monday - Weekly sales on school supplies go live at the beginning of the week — and the hottest items will be grabbed up first. Shop early in the week to score the best deals.
5. Utilize in-store price matching - Many stores offer in-store price matching or will even beat a competitor’s lower price. Make sure to ask about price matching before you pay!
6. Check your gift cards - Be sure to check the remaining balances on any gift cards you may have forgotten in a drawer or wallet.
7. Coordinate with friends - If you’ve got a bunch of friends who are also slogging through an endless list of school supplies, see if you can work together. Divide and conquer by letting each friend shop a different store and picking up enough supplies for the entire group. You can also swap supplies you already have at home.
8. Follow stores on Twitter and Facebook - Follow your favorite stores on Facebook and Twitter for notice about sale events, plus coupon links to help you save more.
9. Compare prices - Use an app or a website to help compare prices on big-ticket items with just a quick barcode scan.
10. Time your shopping - For the best budget mileage, learn the markdown cycle of your favorite stores.