Staying on Budget for Back to School
Back to school expenses can send your budget into a tailspin. However, with a little planning you can stay on budget and keep the stress to a manageable level.
Here are a couple of easy ways to stick to your budget:
Start early. Picking up a couple of things each week will really help to keep the stress down and help the budget by not over tasking it all in one shopping spree. I pick up supplies throughout the year as I find them on sale. We have a supply shelf and I have found this is the best way overall to save money.
Watch for sales. Summer months are a great time to pick up a lot of the school supplies needed at your local Office supply store. Every week they will usually offer a great deal on a couple of items. Just grab those items and check back the following week.
Stack manufacturer coupons with local sales. Grab a Sunday newspaper and clip coupons to glean even a greater savings on items that are on sale at your local stores. Don’t forget to search online coupon databases for printable coupons. These will come off the sale price at your local store for even a greater savings.
Shop online sales. Back to school sales are all over the internet! Many companies are offering free shipping or discounts of up to 50%! Also search for discount coupons.
Consider installment or layaway for larger items. National chains will often offer layaway options for larger purchases. If you are looking at dorm supplies or higher ticket items, consider placing them on layaway and paying for them over several weeks.
Purchase the minimum. If you do find yourself at the store the night before school starts; just purchase the minimum to get your students started. Once the schools are back in session, stores tend to really cut prices to move remaining school supplies. Waiting even a couple of days can often save you a ton.
So whether you are just starting the school supply hunt or are a veteran sending your last to college; shop smart by shopping early and using coupons.