It’s August, which means it’s time to prepare your kids for back to school! Getting everything needed to start the year off right can be expensive and supply lists seem to keep getting longer. Here at Union Bank, we believe you shouldn’t have to break the bank this time of year. Here are 6 shopping tips to keep your back to school shopping under budget.
Inventory What You Already Have
Before you head out to your local store, be sure to survey what you already have at home. Have colored pencils or extra paper leftover from last school year? One less thing you’ll have to buy this season! This tip is especially relevant for larger items like laptops, calculators, and backpacks.
Give Old Supplies a New Look
Get kids more excited about using their school supplies from the year before by picking up a new pencil bag or container for them to put their supplies in. Give binders a fresh new look with a personalized insert to go in the front pocket. Your kids can get creative and make their own or pick out a design to print from online. These inexpensive makeovers will make supplies feel fresh for the new year.
Make a List and Shop Around
Before you head to the store, check to see which items on your child’s supply list are crucial for them to have this semester and which ones they would be fine waiting on. Keep your options open when choosing where to buy supplies as well. You don’t have to buy all your supplies at one store, so take your time, start early, and take note of back-to-school sales that are happening. Also, pay attention if the store will match coupons or prices from their competitors. You can often speak to a cashier or customer service representative before checking out and let them know you’d like to price match.
Online shopping provides a convenient and often cost-saving solution to going to multiple stores for supplies. During the busy summer season, be on the lookout for deals on big-ticket items on sale that you can buy in advance and make sure to take advantage of coupon codes for discounts and free shipping.
Score Penny Deals
Stores like Office Depot, Staples, and others will sometimes offer items like pencils, pens, glue sticks, and packs of paper for only a penny, so keep your eye out for these incredible sales! Penny deals usually have a limit of how many items you can buy at a time, but this is an easy way to stock up on small items you will need throughout the year.
Start Saving Early
Start saving early in preparation for expenses that pop up throughout the school year. Open a savings account and put a portioned amount of your paycheck into it every pay period. Just $20 per paycheck allows you to have a cushion for unexpected school trips and mid-year supplies that will be needed. Contact your local Union Bank representative to discuss the best savings account for you or visit us online to learn more about our savings options.
For more ways to cut your back to school costs, read “How to Save Big on Back to School.”