School shopping – One of my favorite past times since … well – ever! Still this year I’m a bit older and a bit wiser and little bit less eager to hand over my cash for things like paper, socks and shoes. Lucky for me, I like a great bargain and a good deal almost as much as I like shopping.
Here’s how I saved while stocking up this year:
1) I Cleaned out my kids closets.
Before we even thought about shopping this year we gave our closets a total overhaul. I handed down items that could move from one brother to another, held on to sentimental pieces I am hoping to turn in to a handmade quilt and washed and sorted the rest to take to local consignment shops.
I made almost $100 with a trunk full of too small clothes and still had 2 large boxes to sell elsewhere or donate to kids who really need them.
Amount Saved – Over $100
2) I Bought Used.
With my cash from cleaning out the closets in hand, I scoured the same consignment shop racking up like-new polos for school, swim shorts my boys can wear here in Texas year round and nice jeans for my daughter I never would have paid full price for. By purchasing the same day I sold, my items were tax free too – saving me another 8%!
Amount Saved – Approx. $130
3) I Only Buy Kids Stuff on Sale.
I’m not sure I have ever paid full price for an item for my kids. Seriously, some times they ask more than I am willing to pay for my own clothes! It kills me to think of paying so much for such a tiny piece of fabric. I buy clothes on sale, during buy one, get one 1/2 off or other promos, with reward points and on store credit as often as I can. Military appreciation days and shopping at the Base or Post Exchange for brand name shoes are a personal money saving favorite of mine. I scored the Nikes in this photo for $25 from our local PX, that’s the most I ever pay for my kids shoes. The fun purple sneakers for my daughter were $17 on sale at Target last week.
Amount Saved – $200
4) Stock Up All Year
No one says you have to buy all your back to school items in July & August. Look for great deals in stores and online all year long. Even scour flea markets and thrift shops for barely used back packs and binders and things. I bought my daughter’s Hello Kitty lunch box, exactly as pictured 2 for $10 last year on sale at my local grocery store. My youngest got the Spider Man lunch bag I pack for us when we’re on the go.
I found the cutest colored socks ever, almost like the ones in this photo on sale at Walmart yesterday for $4. She has enough rainbow socks for 2 weeks of school for less than $10. This may not sound like a huge saving, but this little one is all about the crazy colored socks and the smile on her face when she saw them made them worth the purchase. If your little girl likes cool socks too, you can often find them in the $1 aisle at Target.
Amount Saved – $50
5) Jump on a Great Deal When You See It
I know I just told you I only buy things for my kids when they are on sale … but with this purchase, I didnt have to wait. We started looking for a nice, quality back pack for my son months ago. I wanted something built to last and something he wouldn’t grow tired of or be embarrassed of later. I thought I had settled on a sturdy lifetime guarantee Lands End backpack, but when we found this option at Target for just $10 and it was solidly constructed – I knew we had our winner. We plan to jazz it up a bit for him with some angry bird keychains on the zippers.
This step also covers all the incredible back to school supplies sales. Crayons for $.25 – check, Markers for $.50, check, folders for $.05, you betcha! School supply shopping is truly my favorite part of this season. We stock up our homeschool and writing center too. This year, I even grabbed these great deals on tax free weekend so I saved even more!
Amount Saved – $35
6) Take advantage of your rewards
Amount Saved – $15 (this month)
So there you have it, that’s how I saved more than I spent on back to school shopping — we saved more than $525 this year!!
Have a tip of your own? Share it with us in the comments section so we can all save a little more. We’ll thank you big time come holiday shopping season.