9 hacks to do back to school shopping on a budget

back to school shopping on a budget

Back to school supplies shopping doesn’t need to break your bank. A little planning and these hacks can help you get done with the back to school shopping on a budget.

Like Christmas shopping, back to school shopping has its charm.

It is so much fun to go on a shopping spree with your kids and getting them prepared for the next school year. It’s just priceless to watch your kids all excited about the new grade.

But, the whole back to school supplies shopping does cost you a considerable amount especially when you have multiple kids. With all the fancy things available in stores these days, you can easily go beyond your budget spending on school supplies, clothing, shoes, lunch packs so on.

So, here are a few tips that will help you save money on school supplies and easily stick to your budget:

9 tips to do back to school shopping on a budget

1. Start shopping at home:

Before heading to the store, look at what school supplies you already have at home. You might have pencil boxes, backpack, lunch packs, pouches, etc. from the last year that can be reused again for the next school year.

Make it fun by involving the kids and do a little treasure hunt around the house to find those hidden reusable school supplies.

2. Make a list and set a budget:

After you have gathered all the school supplies that you already have at home, make a list of things that you still need from the school provided supplies list. This will help you know what are the things that you are still needing to buy from the store.

If you are shopping for two or three kids together, make a combined list of school supplies you need for all the kids. It will make your job easier to go through one list rather than shuffling through different lists.

Also, set a budget on how much money you are going to spend on back to school shopping including the supplies, clothes, shoes, and other gears. Don’t forget to allocate some separate funds for this in your monthly budget.

3. Start early to shop the sales:

Don’t wait until the last weekend to start back to school shopping. Start early so that you can take advantage of sales.

Most of the stores have good deals on clothing and shoes during the 4th of July long weekend. So, checkout those sales for clothes and all. But, don’t forget that buy only the stuff you really need to stick to your budget.

Also, you can find some good deals on school supplies starting as early as the first week of July. You can take advantage of those deals and start stocking up on supplies that you will need when school starts.

4. Buy bulk packages:

Buying the packages with larger quantities are usually cheaper than smaller packages when you compare the individual piece cost. Supplies like pencils, pens, binders, glues, etc. are comparatively cheaper at Costco, Sam’s Club when you buy their bulk packages. So, you can check with your friends and family and split the supplies which will be a win-win situation for everyone.

5. Don’t buy everything together:

Don’t do all the back to school shopping at one go. Instead, shop around different stores to find the best deals and savings on various stuff. Keep checking weekly saving circulars for different stores to find the best discounts.

I would recommend holding off your purchase until you are confident that you have found the lowest price. It will help you score some good savings, especially on bigger items like laptops, backpacks, clothe,s etc.

6. Shop the tax-free day:

Most of the states have a tax-free weekend in late July or early August on which you can buy certain items without paying the sales tax on them. Usually, it includes school supplies, clothing, and electronics like laptops, etc. So, if you have some bigger purchases to make, take advantage of this day and save 10% right away. Here is the list of all states tax-free weekends

7. Don’t forget the Dollar stores:

Stores like Dollar General and Dollar Tree are best places to buy cheap school supplies.

They have many name brands available at affordable prices in comparison to other places. Also, they are a good place to stock up on non-essential items like sanitizers, wipes, etc.

Plus, it would be an additional bonus if you have any manufacturer coupons that you can use to get some additional discount.

8. Use coupons:

Don’t shy away from finding the coupons. You can use the apps like Ibotta, Rakuten, and Honey to look for coupons that can help you save money on school supplies

9. Stock Up for next year:

Once the school year starts, all the school stuff goes on sales with a discount of up to 50% or more. You can start stocking up for next year instead of paying full prices for the same things next year.

Also, don’t go overboard and just buy the stuff you know you will really be needing next year.

It’s easy to go beyond your budget and overspend on the school supplies. So, a little planning and being mindful about your spending will help you get done with the back to school shopping on a budget.

Hi, I'm Anika. With my majors in Accounting and Finance, I'm here to empower people by sharing the simple and actionable money management and money-saving tips to live a debt-free financially independent life. I have been featured on popular websites like Bankrate and Authority Magazine.