This is a guest post by Mrs. Not Made of Money.
The start of the school year means a myriad of feelings for everyone in the home. For moms, it means that the days will be somewhat freed up to get other tasks taken care of, along with a massive change in scheduling. It also means purchasing everything needed to get the kids started in their new grades. Having some budget stretching tactics for back to school shopping can mean the difference between saving some substantial cash or breaking the bank.
There are countless ways to squeeze your dollars without making it a full time job. One of the easiest ways is to purchase some of your basic items at a dollar store. They are the same quality items that you could purchase elsewhere and at a significant savings. You can find everything from pens, pencils, rulers, and even some notebooks.
For other items the best bet is to buy only what you will be needing right away. There is no need to stock up on an entire year’s worth of products at once. The reason is simple: once the school year begins retailers know that there will be a huge drop in demand for school supplies. This leaves them with a lot of merchandise to move and store. Plus, with the upcoming holidays this storage space will be valuable for storing new products. This means that soon after school starts retailers will be issuing drastic price reductions to make way for the holiday goods. This equals savings for you.
When looking for such specific items as notebooks and binders you can shell out a lot of money quickly. You can find suitable items for your child without sacrificing quality. A plain cover notebook will work just as well as one depicting their favorite singing sensation, and will cost you less than half as much. If they want, they can decorate the cover themselves with cutouts of their idols and a glue stick.
Clothing is by far the biggest expenditure for school. Many frugal parents have opted to find some of the childrens’ wardrobe at discount stores such as Goodwill. You can find name brand items for a fraction of their original price. The kids get to wear the newest and hottest attire and you save a fortune. If you are shopping at the retail stores, combine sales with tax free shopping holidays if your state has them.
Your clothing allowance can be stretched by finding tops and bottoms that can be mixed with other pieces. This gives you different options with the same items. Plus, jeans are universal. Most kids wear them at least several times a week. Adding a few t-shirts can give a whole new section of a wardrobe. Using budget stretching tactics for back to school shopping doesn’t have to mean that your child does without. Spending a little extra research time can mean they get what they need and you keep what you need.
Mrs. Not Made of Money writes about money saving tips and frugal living on her blog “Not Made of Money.”