If you haven’t noticed the recent price increase on nearly everything, then you’ve at least heard your parents mention it. To say the least, back-to-school shopping will be expensive this year – from supplies and lunches to clothes and shoes.
We know it’s hard to cut corners on the back-to-school list, so here’s what you can prioritize to help you (and your parents) save money.
Evaluate what you already have
Hardly used that one notebook last year? Is your subject folders still in great shape? These items may be more on the inexpensive side already, but when multiplied by the number of classes, things start to add up. Take inventory of what you need and what you don’t. Tip: Collect pens and pencils from around the house… they just appear anyway, right?
Create a list of needs and rank its importance
After evaluating what you have, create a list of what you’ll need to buy to kick-off the year. Ask yourself, “Do I need this right now or can it wait?” School supplies, believe it or not, are at its highest price right before returning to school. By simply waiting a week or two, prices can slash in nearly half. Tip: Ask your teacher if you need that expensive graphing calculator now, or if it won’t be needed until later in the year.
Clean out the closet
Whether uniforms or your own clothes are your school attire, it’s time to go through your (or your kid’s) closet. We know it’s only been about 3 months, but teens outgrow things fast and trends change! Try taking the “no” pile to a consignment shop to get some cash towards your new wardrobe. Tip: Focus on getting a few good pairs of jeans that you can see yourself wearing for a while and other essentials like tanks and tees.
Understand cheap vs. value
Most of your school supplies will be used on the daily, and with daily use comes breaks, rips, and other damages. So, when you’re shopping for supplies on a budget, it’s important to understand the difference between what’s simply cheap and what’s a good value. Listen closely: Something can be low cost, but a good value. If something is low quality, it’s not worth your money. This goes for pencil pouches, folders, backpacks, jeans… you name it! Tip: If it’s going to get some wear and tear, pay up.
Back-to-school is stressful in more ways than one, especially if you’re on a budget when prices are soaring. Remember, care planning pays off when it comes to back-to-school shopping.