The back-to-school season is upon us! While exciting, preparing for sending the kids back to school can also be financially challenging for families. As parents equip their children for a successful academic year, it is essential to approach shopping strategically and make the most of your budget.

  • Stick to a Budget

This goes for clothing essentials, as well as school supplies. First, take an inventory of what you already have and proceed from there. Many teachers will provide a list of items needed, however, check what you already have and if they are still in good condition. By doing so, you avoid buying duplicate items that can be reused. For example, shoes, jackets, backpacks might still be in good condition; calculators, mechanical pencils, notebooks also might have life left in them.

  • Shop Early

Popular big box stores sell out fast leaving you racing from store to store for last-minute items. Avoid the rush and crowds and start your shopping early. You also might find better deals when you shop early. Many stores offer early-bird discounts on school supplies during the weeks leading up to the start of the school year. Plan your shopping trips strategically and take advantage of sales and promotions.

  • Clip Coupons, Compare Pricing

The internet is your friend and so easy to use for price comparison websites and apps. Additionally, printable coupons, digital coupons, and loyalty programs can help you save even more on your purchases.

Lastly, many states offer tax-free weekends during the back-to-school season, so be sure to check your state’s tax-free dates.

Bottom line, the back-to-school season doesn’t have to be a financial burden. Involve your children in the budgeting and shopping process. It’s a great opportunity to address the difference between need versus want, as well as the budget process. Teach them to make informed purchasing decisions and encourage them to understand the value of money, all of which goes a long way, much further than going back to school. Using these proactive steps can help you save immensely and alleviate some of the pressure of the season.

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