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How to Do Back to School Shopping on a Budget
TayTalksMoney: Money, Lifestyle and Productivity

How to Do Back to School Shopping on a Budget


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*This post may include affiliate links. We get a commission if you sign up with a partner; this commission is at no cost to you.

(Last Updated On: February 13, 2019)


Can you believe the time has come for back to school?


Whether you’re ready or not, back to school shopping is in full swing, and it’s time to jump on board. If you’re trying to do some back to school shopping on a budget, these easy tips can help!


Buy Online

If you don’t like dealing with a crowded store, and if you hate walking into a store just to realize they’ve sold out of a particular item, try buying online!

You’ll typically get the same deals, and you can still use coupons, but you won’t have to deal with the hassle of actually shopping. Plus, many online retailers will ship the items you buy to the store or to you for free. Not only is this a huge money saver, but it also saves you time.

I’m obsessed with shopping for deals on Amazon. Ebates and Retailmenot are also great places to get cash back and to find coupons for shopping.


Don’t Go All Out

If you’ve got the back to school shopping list, don’t buy more than what it calls for. It’s easy to go over budget when you see cute binders and notebooks, but they really aren’t worth the extra dollars.

Most of them will end up in the trash at the end of the school year anyway, so it doesn’t make sense to over purchase. By sticking to the list, you can ensure that your child has everything they need, but won’t waste any items or spend more than you have too.


Shop The Dollar Tree/ Thrift Stores

The savings are huge at the Dollar Tree and thrift stores! You can find binders for as little as $0.25 cents, notebooks for less than a dollar, and even pencils and pens for way cheaper than you’d find them anywhere else.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to get items from these places, most likely everyone else is too! Not only are they pretty much the same quality as the name brand items, they’re usually half the cost.


Make It A Challenge

If your kids are older and want to be involved in the back to school shopping, make it a challenge. See who can spend the least amount of money on the items needed, or tell them if they can get under budget, they can have a special prize of their choosing.

If going the prize route, make sure you tell them there is a price limit! It can be whatever you are comfortable with, but having the option of getting a gift after shopping will usually make a kid try to stick well below the budget.


Shop Your Home

Most likely you have binders, pens, and pencils already laying around just waiting to be used. Do a quick inventory of what you have and make sure you aren’t buying more than what you really need.

The same goes for the kid’s clothes and shoes. If items still fit and look good, there is no need to buy more. Kids grow quickly. Sometimes they can get another couple of months out of an item before it needs to be replaced. And if you have multiple kids, hand-me-downs can save a lot of money over time!

Of course, if an item is in bad shape, don’t worry about finding a use for it. But nothing should be thrown away just because it’s not in style or not your kid’s favorite color.

Back to school shopping on a budget is super easy if you know where to look and don’t mind challenging yourself. And if you do stay below budget, don’t forget to throw the extra money into a savings account!

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