Back-to-School Shopping
Planning and prioritization will help you stay within your back-to-school budget.

Submitted by ltownsend on July 22, 2022

It's still summer, but the return to school seems to start earlier every year. Many stores are already placing school supplies on sale. Before you go out shopping, though, here are a few tips to consider to help you avoid what could be a big price tag for sending your child back to school.

Arrange Your Shopping List

Prepare and prioritize a shopping list before you go out shopping. School districts often provide supply lists for the new year but take stock of what supplies you already have at home, or left-over from last year. If you have several school-age children (or want to combine shopping with friends), determine where you can find bulk supplies which will certainly be less expensive per item. With this in mind prepare your own list for shopping. With any shopping experience, you most certainly follow a budget better if you prepare a list beforehand. Back to School Shopping  

Prioritizing the needed items can help you determine if some expenses can be delayed. For example, purchasing a new iPad or Chromebook needed for homework can be postponed when the old one is still working. Spreading out your back-to-school shopping helps to avoid having to provide a large cash outlay at once. 

Budget Your Money

A budget isn't restrictive -- it actually gives you permission to spend! Make a budget and stick to it to ensure your expenses don't go beyond what you can afford. Your budget may contain one-time school-related expenses, as well as month-to-month expenses like lunch tickets, club fees or after school activities.

If you need a little extra help, especially if you need to purchase big ticket items such as a laptop, consider a low-rate personal loan from Skyward. It can help break down a large purchase with smaller monthly payments.

Compare Prices

Look for supply specials in the store and online. Check local sales and online sites. Sone popular places to buy low-cost supplies are the Dollar Store, Amazon, and Walmart. Follow stores and companies on social media for coupons and sales dates. Some stores will have sales for apparel items after school begins.

As you shop, know the difference between cheap and value. You don't want the supplies and clothing to fall apart half-way through the school year. Low-cost doesn't always mean good quality. Daily use can be a concern, especially for clothing like jeans, shoes, and coats. Backpack or book bags also need to be sturdy enough to last the year. When you are ready to purchase big-ticket items, like electronics, remember to look for student discounts. 

With planning, a budget and smart shopping, getting the kids back to school can be as easy as A-B-C.