(I'm sorry if I'm a little late and you've done your back to school shopping. I've been a little distracted the last week (see my previous posts. However, hopefully this gives you a day or two to save a little money.)
Back to school time is a hectic time period for parents. There are lists upon lists of school supplies, school schedules to memorize, and bus routes to remember. I'm probably missing more than a few things, but fortunately, there's going to be a long time before I have to deal with it. In down economies like this one parents have the additional stress to stretch a dollar as much as they can. I thought I'd give those parents a few easy tipsto save money on back to school shopping.
- Use school supplies what you have - Before you go shopping, you may want to take a look around the house. Your child may have brought home school supplies at the end of the year that were never used. (I re-used to have a Snoopy box that I reused year after year.) Perhaps additional school supplies were purchased and never made it to school... we had a drawer at home where we stored all these. You can cross off a lot of this stuff from your list to start with.
- Take Classes Online - If you are planning to upgrade your own education, take your courses through an online university. Many different degrees and certificates are available through online learning institutions and you will receive the exact same education as those attending classes every day. The main benefit is that online courses cost less and allow you to fit your coursework into your own schedule. Therefore, you do not have to quit your job or sacrifice your time with your kids to further your education. Before signing up, have a look at some testimonials by past students to see if online learning is right for you.
- Do you really need new clothes? - At the risk for of annoying The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff, but you don't need all new clothes every year... just a few pieces can make a big difference. I had my wardrobe supplemented with a few serviceable pieces set of hand me downs. Then again, I was never a pillar of fashion. For example, my wardrobe today hasn't significantly changed in ten years.
- Save Money on Clothing in general - Most of my tips on how to save money on clothing apply here.
- Tax-Free holidays - This probably comes to late for this year, but perhaps you can bookmark this for next year. The tax holidays are generally held two to three weekends prior to the beginning of the school year. This is a good time to pick up school clothes, school supplies, computers, calculators, and well, just about anything.
- Hit the Back to School Sales - As school nears, many local retailers have special promotions featuring school supplies. Most of the time, they'll offer many items for pennies on the dollar to get you in the door. You may have to visit a few stores to take advantage of all of the different specials, but it may be worth it in the end.
Do you have more tips on how to save money going back to school? If you do, please share them in the comments.
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