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Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

According to the National Retail Federation, the average American household spends $685 on back-to-school shopping for children in elementary through high school and $943 for young people going to college. 

Learn how to tackle back-to-school shopping without overspending. 

1. Create a checklist of items and stick to it
Before you begin shopping, empty your kids’ backpacks to see what was leftover from the previous year. Mark them off your checklist and then buy only the items remaining.

2. Take advantage of tax-free shopping
Every year, multiple states host tax-free weekends that coincide with the back-to-school season. Florida’s 2019 tax-free weekend is August 2 – 9. Check out Federation of Tax Administrators for tax-free shopping in other states.

3. Consider shopping without the kids
They’re more likely to fall for the strategically placed items stores want you to buy. Backpacks and notepads with your kids’ favorite superhero or Disney character can be 30% or more expensive than generic kinds. If the more expensive products are not in your budget, consider buying stickers or decals of their favorite characters and have them decorate their gear themselves.

4. Comparison shop online before going into stores
Online shopping is the easiest way to compare prices quickly. You’ll save on time and gas.

5. Give kids a portion of the budget for their selections 
You decide what items your kids must have, then with the remainder of the budgeted money, let them choose what they want.

6. Set up e-mail alerts for sales 
Websites focusing on discounts will let you know when coupons or great deals are available for specific items.

7. Buy school supplies in bulk
Although you’ll have a large initial expense, in the long run, the supplies will be cheaper, and you’ll have them on hand for several months.

8. Follow your favorite stores and brands on social media
You’ll be one of the first to find out when they’re offering deals and special promotions.

9. Wait until late August or September to buy the majority of your school supplies
That’s when the prices drop significantly. You can even buy for the following year.

Source: Copyright Credit Union National Association Inc.