If you’ve been shopping lately, then you have probably seen the ubiquitous back-to-school ads: a subtle reminder that summer is winding down. Despite stores’ best efforts to help us save money, the costs of school supplies and clothing really add up and can take a toll on your family’s budget. Check out these tips for saving money during this expensive time of year:
- Budget like a pro. Do some planning before you leave the house: What items do you really need? What can you wait to buy? Who has supplies on sale? Who has coupons? Once you have a plan, head to the store, buy only what you planned to purchase, and get out of there. Check out this article from Practical Money Skills for Life for detailed instructions on how to create a great shopping budget. You can also download the PDF here.
- Browse estate and yard sales. Sites like Craigslist and Estatesales.net provide pictures, descriptions, and sometime prices, which will help you figure out which sales to attend before you even leave the house.
- Place a bid on eBay. I love shopping for clothing and housewares on eBay. There are tons of great deals on new and used items, plus PayPal makes it easy to use my checking account. Of course, you can still pay for purchases with a credit card if you don’t feel comfortable linking your bank account to a website.
Try following some of these suggestions and I know your school shopping will be much more budget-friendly.