And we are off! With Amazon’s launch of the “Happy School Year” store on Monday, July 1, back-to-school shopping commenced even though we are not even halfway through the summer. The good news is that starting early is a great way to spread the cost of heading back to school over a larger period of time. It also allows us more time to comparison shop and find the best deals.
According to RetailMeNot, an online savings website, parents plan to spend an average of $507 this shopping season. That is up from $465 last year. So, we are putting together this quick guide to highlight ways to save money on back to school expenses.
Typically, you’ll find the best deals on school supplies like paper, notebooks, pencils, glue, etc. at big box stores. Wal-Mart and Target are two prime examples. Office supply stores may seem like the logical place to go but check prices first. People often spend more in these locations.
Amazon may be another place to purchase these supplies but be prepared to buy in bulk to get a good deal. For example, you can purchase a box of 150 #2 pencils for $12.49 (just over 8 cents a pencil). Our best advice is to go online, compare the costs at multiple stores and buy based on what you need.
Many companies offer discounts for students. These are often called educational discounts, student discounts or education pricing. Apple, Adobe, Dell, Microsoft, Lenovo, Sony and Norton all have programs to help students save. College students can typically access discounts through their school store website as well.
As with anything, it pays to comparison shop for the best deal. Don’t assume that the student discount is getting you the best deal.
One idea for saving money on technology is upgrading a system. Add RAM, install a new graphics card or get a faster, bigger storage drive.
If the idea of upgrading a system is not your speed, you might consider a used computer. This is bit risky but can result in substantial savings. This article from Discount Computer Depot outlines 15 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Refurbished Computer.
We mentioned it above and it bears mentioning again. Comparison shop. Use the internet, newspaper flyers and television commercials to find the best deals.
Try to avoid buying sale items with a credit card. If you do use a credit card, have a plan for paying that card off, in full, before interest is accrued. No one wants to buy more school supplies next year, when you are still paying for the prior year’s purchases.
American Financial Solutions, a non-profit credit counseling agency, offers solutions for getting out of debt along with budgeting tips to help you reach your financial goals. You can find us at www.americanfinancialsolutions.org or by calling 888-818-5037. Call us today!