Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shopping Smart During Back To School

It's that time of year again - back to school for the kids! How can you make the most of the shopping season? Retailers know that the back to school shopping season is their second best selling season, second to Christmas season. Statistics say that the average family will spend $530 for back to school merchandise. Attention shoppers ... the longer they have the merchandise out, the more you’ll spend overall during the back to school season.

How can you save money and get what you need during back to school season PLUS take advantage of the great deals retailers will be offering in the coming weeks? Here’s some helpful tips about buying clothing and school supplies:

  • Organization – Go through your child’s closet and organize his/her clothing making it easier to see what your needs are. Review the size/fit of key basics like underwear, socks, shoes, jeans, and shirts. Pull out items that are too small and create a box of items to donate or sell (Ebay is a great resource to see items).

  • Take inventory and make a list of clothing items – Once you’re organized, it will be easy to figure out what you need. Take inventory of what you have in your child’s closet. Does he only have 1 pair of jeans that fit? Has she outgrown all of her shoes for school?

  • Do your research – Look at the weekly ads to see what’s on sale in your area. Use websites to help you shop – they do the work for you. Dealtime is a good resource.

  • When purchasing clothing, think outside the box and buy from sources like Ebay, consignment stores and garage sales. My sister-in-law bought an unopened package of underwear for her 5 year old at a garage sale for $0.99 . It would have cost her $8 at a retail store. I buy childrens jeans on Ebay and usually pay $10 for 3 pair of gently used (or hardly worn) Gap jeans.

  • Hoard back to school supplies - All back to school supplies have been on sale for the past month or so. Hopefully you have bought all of your supplies at a discount. Now is the time that retailers will be marking these supplies down, especially the ones packaged especially for back to school. Start looking for discounts of 15% - 30% (especially at Target) in the coming weeks and buy ahead for next year. I print off my child's school supply list for the coming years and buy ahead - when it's on sale. I store all of my sale supplies in a supply closet - yes, I really do have one!

Be sure to share your shopping tips with us! We love to hear how you save money!

~ Written by Elizabeth

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