Your Back-to-School Shopping Guide
There’s nothing like a new outfit and a backpack full of fresh notebooks, erasers, and pencils to get your child psyched for the upcoming school year. Before you go shopping for these essentials, check out these lessons on how you can save big at the checkout.
1. Become a Super Stacker
Whether you’re going back-to-school shopping online or in the store, you should try to combine a sale with discount codes, rebates, coupons, and cashback deals whenever you can. This shopping strategy, known as “stacking,” can yield unbelievable savings. You can increase your savings even more by taking advantage of a cashback site, such as Splender or Ebates. These types of little savings can really add up.
2. Invest in On-Sale Summer Items
When you go back-to-school shopping, you can find great deals on summer items, such as T-shirts and shorts. Since most kids want to wear something new to school to start the year off right (and it’s often still hot outside for several weeks), you should try to snag a few new summer outfits at deep discounts. By focusing on these warmer weather items now, you can give your kids some time to tune into the fall clothing trends. After all, they often don’t know what they really want until they start school and see what their friends are wearing. By holding off on making your big autumn purchases, you can buy some time to take advantage of Columbus Day sales and other seasonal savings opportunities.
The first day of school is the perfect time to rock a new dress.
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3. Don’t Shop ’til You Drop
When you’re ready to shop for fall school clothes, you should take inventory of what your child already has that still fits and see what gaps remain in his or her wardrobe. However, you should try to resist the urge to make this shopping trip an expedition where you buy everything at once. After all, kids can feel overwhelmed with choices.
When it comes to winter coats and snow boots, you should try to buy a size up so that your child can wear these pricier items for at least two seasons. Or, you can try to hold off on buying them until Black Friday, when retailers tend to offer the deepest discounts of the year. Otherwise, you should buy several outfits in your child’s current size, and then go shopping again in a month or two, taking advantage of sales and deals.
4. Do Your Homework Before Back-to-School Shoe Shopping
There’s a reason why buying back-to-school shoes is a time-honored tradition. A snazzy new pair of Converse high tops can help your child start off on the right foot. Shopping for shoes online is convenient and sometimes the only way to get a shoe in a brand, color, style, or size so popular that your local shoe store can’t keep up with the demand. Some of the best shoe sites offer no sales tax and free shipping, including on exchanges. Before shopping online, visit a local shoe store to get your child’s foot measured and size up the selection. Like clothing, it’s best to start slow. Try to buy only one pair of new shoes until school is officially in session. After all, kids can be convincingly fanatical about their footwear, then change their mind as soon as they spot classmates wearing something else. And there’s nothing worse than having a perfectly good pair of new shoes languishing in the closet. About a month after school starts, your child’s shoe preferences are more apt to be on firm footing.
Kids can never wait to show off their new shoes at the beginning of the school year.
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5. Take Advantage of Tax-Free Week
Many states offer tax-free weeks and weekends in July or August, which means there’s no sales tax on back-to-school items, such as clothing, school supplies, books, and laptops. Tax-free week is an especially good time to stock up on back-to-school supplies. Be sure to shop at stores where you get additional perks, such as cash-back rewards on your purchases.
By following this back-to-school shopping guide, you can ensure that your kids look and feel great for the new academic year (without putting a major dent in your wallet).
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