From school supplies to dorm essentials, preparing for a new school year can be an expensive undertaking. Consider these simple back-to-school shopping tips to help you plan smart and cut costs:
Set a budget—and stick to it. Determine how much money you can spend, then evaluate needs versus wants. Review supply lists before heading to the store and note what you already have. Include your kids in the process for a valuable lesson about budgeting.
Get a deal. Buy a Sunday paper to check weekly ads for the best savings and clip any school-supply coupons. Another idea: Follow your favorite stores on social media to keep up with deals or use a free app like RetailMeNot to find store-specific coupons.
Shop tax-free. Some states offer tax-free holidays during back-to-school season. See if your state participates.
Stock up. Many retailers mark down school supplies weeks after back-to-school shopping peaks. Score deals on trendy, must-have items for this year and stock up on basics — like glue and paper — for upcoming years.
Shop securely. If you’re ordering online, make sure to use secure, reliable websites with “https” and a padlock symbol in the address bar. Pay with your credit card instead of debit card.
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