Back to school means shopping, whether your kids are studying at home or going to school in person.
Before determining what students need for the year, set a budget. Planning as far ahead as possible helps keep costs to a minimum and helps everyone involved stay on task.
Here are some useful tips:
Most retailers have dropped the mask requirement, but some pharmacies or local shops may still have them. problems in the supply chain
could also affect shopping. As you get ready to shop, contact the store directly with questions about hours of operation, policies, or to see if supplies are in stock.
Research major ticket articles
Whether your kids are learning in-person at school or online from home, technology has come to the fore over the past two years. When purchasing new equipment, check with your child’s school about the technical requirements and determine if any changes are needed to the high-speed Internet at home.
Before purchasing an expensive laptop, tablet, or any other computer accessory, research brands, warranties, customer reviews, and prices at different stores to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Also look at the retailer’s reputation on BBB.org.
Shop smart with sales and tax-free weekends
Compare prices between different retail stores, save coupons, sign up for email alerts, and redeem cashback or discount offers. This helps to get the best deals and stay on budget. Also, your state may have a tax-free weekend when you can buy clothing, school supplies, and other items without paying sales tax. Cash this resource from the Federation of Tax Administrators to see what your state offers.
Ask about discounts
Many stores and software companies offer discounts. Some are available to students with an “.edu” email address or student ID. Others may get a discount for signing up for marketing materials or surf the web for online coupons and discounts (make sure they are affiliated with the retailer). There’s no harm in asking even if you don’t see an offer in store.
Consider buying in bulk
At in-person meetings, some teachers may ask parents to purchase bulk classroom-wide items (paper towels, tissues, wipes, hand sanitizer) to use throughout the year. Compare lists with other parents and see if costs can be shared.
Shop smart and safe online