Mom Hacks for Saving Money on Back-to-School Shopping

Get everything your kids need to start school without breaking the bank.

Shopping cart with school supplies falling inside. Concept of retail shopping.


Shopping cart with school supplies falling inside. Concept of retail shopping.

Photo by: jayk7


By: Amanda Mushro

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When it comes to back-to-school shopping, it’s time to do a little homework. The average parent will spend around $800 on school supplies, clothes, and everything else their kids need to make the grade. If you've got more kids preparing to head back into the classroom — that number only goes up. So how can you get everything your kids need for school but not break the bank? Here are eight money-saving hacks to save big during back-to-school shopping that will earn you an A+ in bargain shopping.

  • Get Your List in Order: This one seems really simple, but it really works. An easy way to avoid overspending is to make a shopping list and stick to it. Before you add one item to your cart, make a list of every item your kids need for back to school and avoid grabbing items that aren’t on that list. Once you start shopping, keep everything you’ve purchased in one location and check off items on your list to stay organized.
  • Shop at Home: Before you start spending money on back to school items, do a quick sweep of your home to see if you already have these supplies. From folders, scissors, notebooks, pens, pencils, and crayons — you may have brand new or almost new school supplies just laying around your home. There's no reason to spend money on items you already have.
  • Hold off on Clothes: It’s tempting to snag new clothes when back to school shopping. After all, kids grow out of their clothes quickly, but now is not the time to load up on fall and winter clothes. In fact, the end of summer is the most expensive time to purchase clothing. Instead, shop for the items that they will definitely need to start school — like new shoes — and wait for clothes to go on sale in September. The clothes you should be buying during back-to-school are the end-of-season sales on summer clothes that can work for your kids now or for next year.
  • One-Stop Shopping May Not Be the Answer: Is there anything better than getting everything you need at one store? Yes — saving money by shopping at a few stores. Check store flyers, social media, and store apps to see where the sales are happening before you start shopping. This way you can compare prices and head to the stores to grab the items you need at the best prices.
  • Buy in Bulk with Friends: Your kids don't need a pack of 100 pencils, but if you and a friend — or a few friends — split the cost, buying in bulk and sharing can save everyone money.
  • Dollar Store Bargains: Have you taken a stroll through your local dollar store lately? If you have, you’ll see that they have really upped their school supply game. So that means you can grab a number of items on your back to school shopping list for one dollar.
  • Use Your Rewards: If you have a credit card and shopping apps that offer rewards, back-to-school shopping is a great time to use those rewards. Apps like Rakuten give you cash back on purchases and if you have a credit card that offers rewards, you can make a big dent in your back-to-school bills.

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