The end of summer is fast approaching, school supply lists have been released, and you’re on the hunt for the best deals on back to school items for your kids. These days, just equipping your kids for the first day can be overwhelming, but with a few cost-cutting tips, you can save yourself money while providing great things for the upcoming school year.
1. Be prepared.
Go over your list of needs and be careful of what “wants” get added to the list by your child or teen. Better yet, give your older student a back to school budget, and have him or her work out how to use the allotted money to purchase the needed items. Do your research to find what items are on sale at which stores, and don’t shy away from shopping several different stores if needed.
2. Shop the sales.
It almost goes without saying, but August is the best time to by any school supplies. Stock up for the year on pens, paper, notebooks, crayons, etc. Staples, Office Depot, Wal-mart and Target are retailers that will have great prices now. In addition to great sales, you can also take advantage of other store loyalty programs such as Staples Rewards (5% off most purchases), Target RedCard (5% off) and Target Cartwheel offers. Target will also have store coupons that you can “stack” to get the most for your money. For example, purchase $30 in school supplies or backpacks and get a $5 gift card.
3. Go through all clothes and shoes before shopping for new ones.
With your child, go through all items in the closet and dresser. Donate any items that are too small or that your child no longer wears. Toss out any that are too old or beat up to be useful to anyone. Then make a list with your child of items that you’re searching for on your clothes shopping trip. It may help to do a little online window shopping in advance to see what stores have the best prices and styles for your budget.
4. Accept help if needed.
If finances are really tight, there are places in Akron, Ohio to get some free school supplies. St. Mary Catholic Church offers free school supplies to low-income students in the Hudson City School District, and Catholic Charities Community Services of Summit County provides supplies free of charge for students up to 8th grade and living in Summit County.
On Saturday, August 20, 2016, the John S. Knight Center hosts the Summit for Kids Family Expo with free admission, fun and educational activities, free back to school supplies and more.
Don’t let the stress of back-to-school shopping get to you. Team up with your student to have a plan of attack and enjoy the extra time together before another school year begins.