Where to Find Back to School Savings

by Jessica Sommerfield · 1 comment

Back to school shopping can get expensive between school supplies and other essentials as well as more discretionary shopping such as new clothes. Since this is a predictable yearly event for families with school-aged children, it’s a good idea to start a year-round fund and set aside ‘extra’ money so you don’t feel the budget crunch at the end of the summer when vacation and travel expenses have drained your savings. Your method can be as simple as a piggy bank or jar labeled ‘Back to School’, or you can make it official and start up a high-interest bearing savings or money-market account.

In addition to budgeting money for school shopping, consider shopping for supplies a year ahead of time so you can take advantage of the after-event clearance sales and markdowns. Universal items such as pens, pencils, notebooks, and folders are the best items to shop for a year ahead since they don’t change drastically, unlike your kids’ clothing sizes and style preferences.

You can still save a ton of money by shopping the back to school sales and specials designed to lure in customers during August and September. But, before you head out, here are some additional websites and smartphone apps that will help you maximize your savings whether you choose to shop online or hit the mall.

  • Get the best deal by comparing store ads online. Sites like Spoofee.com or SundaySaver.com allow you to view and print weekly circular ads from all your favorite stores. This can be especially helpful if you don’t receive a paper copy in the mail.  Many stores also honor other stores’ sales ads to keep in competition, so it’s a good idea to take your ads with you as you shop.
  • Take advantage of emails with savings codes and coupons. Nearly every chain store will now ask if you want to receive promotional emails. Although these can clutter your inbox, choosing carefully which stores you subscribe to and checking them before you hit the stores can mean huge savings.
  • Plan your shopping days. Some states feature no-tax shopping days in the month of August, so find out if your state participates by checking taxadmin.org/fta/rate for state sales tax holidays in the current calendar year. At 6% or higher, taxes can add a lot to your bill, so it’s worth trying to coordinate your shopping trip with these tax holidays.  Look for other large back to school shopping events featuring sales in your favorite stores, and you can save even more.
  • Smartphone discounts for “checking in.” Many store chains participate in smartphone apps such as ShopKick, Foursquare, and Yelp. ShopKick allows you to earn ‘kicks’ for simply checking into participating retail locations and scanning products or making purchases. These points can be applied toward prizes such as gift card purchases, music downloads, and more. You can save even more if you link your credit or debit card to your account so your purchases can count toward more points, coupons, and offers.

There are so many ways to save on back to school shopping. Find what works for your lifestyle and preferences, and utilize all of these great resources to make your school shopping less stressful and more fun.

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Priswell September 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Dollar Stores. You can’t get everything you need for school at Dollar Stores, and sometimes the quality isn’t worth buying some things there, but this is the place you should start. You never know what they’ll have, and you can’t beat the prices.

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