It’s back to school season, and you’ve got a lot to buy. Whether it’s new clothing, school supplies or, computers, just thinking of all of the money you may have to spend can send your stress levels through the roof.
But with some careful planning, and these simple tips, you are sure to save some dollars on your back to school budget.
How To Save Money
Re-use supplies from last year
Before you plan your shopping trip, take a look at last year’s school supplies, and see if they are in good condition.
Backpacks, lunchboxes, sporting equipment, binders, and other supplies can often be reused this school year.
During your search, you may even find unopened packages of pencils, ink pens, crayons, markers, and other useful items that you may have forgotten about.
Purchase items in bulk
You can multiply your savings by purchasing supplies in bulk. When items go on sale, purchase extra items and set some aside to use later in the school year. I like to purchase extra’s for the next school year as well.
Use coupons and cashback apps
Save extra cash by using paper coupons, or online coupons. If clipping coupons isn’t your thing, maximize your savings by using cashback apps like Ibotta.
This back to school season, Ibotta is excited to be giving away FREE items to send kids back to school the right way. That’s right – 100% cash back on a variety of school snacks and supplies. Ibotta has teamed up with some of our favorite brands to celebrate the new school year.
When you download the Ibotta app or browser extension, get 100% cash back on back-to-school essentials to start your kid’s year off right with full backpacks and lunchboxes!
How Ibotta’s Back to School Free-for-All works:
Download Ibotta to start earning cash back on things you buy every day. Get the app on your phone or the browser extension for your computer (better yet: both!).
Choose where you want to shop for school supplies: Walmart Pickup & Delivery, Target Online, HEB Online, Instacart, or Shipt.
Link your retailer account, then add back to school offers to your list (from the browser extension window).
Shop and check out like you always do. You’ll get your 100% cash back 24 hours after your grocery order is picked up or delivered!
Using apps will give you cash-back just for signing up and shopping! Rakuten and Ibotta are a couple of my favorite apps to use, and the cash back savings really add up.
Buy generics or store brands
Swap those expensive brand names for generic or store brand products whenever possible. Generic doesn’t automatically mean less quality. The quality of store brands is typically as good as brand name products, and you can save several coins.
Recycle those clothes
What child doesn’t want new clothes when they head back to school? But before spending money on an all-new wardrobe, take inventory of what’s in your child’s closet. If clothes from last school year fit comfortably, they can wear those at the start of the school year.
Remember that prices typically go down around September, so you may want to put off shopping for new clothes until then. Simply purchase one or two outfits, along with accessories for your kids to wear when school starts.
Another way to save is to check out your local thrift stores and consignment shops. You can often find good quality clothing at really low prices.
Lastly, recycle clothing among siblings. If one child has outgrown certain items, simply pass them down to the younger ones.
Take advantage of tax-free weekend
If your state participates, take advantage of the tax-free weekend for your back to school shopping. Below is a list of tax free days by state, along with the items that you are allowed to purchase.
Alabama: July 16-18, 2021 (clothing, computers, school supplies, and books)
Arkansas: August 7-8, 2021 (clothing and accessories, electronic devices, school supplies, art supplies, and instructional books)
Connecticut: August 15-21, 2021 (clothing and footwear)
Florida: July 31-August 9, 2021 (clothing and accessories, footwear, school supplies, and computers)
Iowa: August 6-7, 2021 (clothing)
Maryland: August 8-14, 2021 (clothing, footwear, and energy star products)
Massachusetts: August 14-15 2021 (most purchases under $2,500)
Mississippi: July 30-31, 2021 (clothing, footwear, and school supplies)
Missouri: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, computers, and energy star products)
New Mexico: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, computers, computer equipment, and school supplies)
Ohio: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing and school supplies)
Oklahoma: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing and footwear)
South Carolina: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, and computers)
Tennessee: July 30- August 1, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, computers, food, food ingredients, and prepared food)
Texas: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, backpacks, and school supplies)
Virginia: August 6-8, 2021 (clothing, school supplies, and energy star products)
With some or all of the tips that I’ve outlined above, I’m sure you’ll find a few ways to save and cut down on your back to school shopping bill.
Wishing you and your family all the best this school year!