We know, we know. Summer just started! But it’s already time to get ready for next school year. Back-to-school sales are here, and it’s a great time to hit the stores. Here are some of our top tips to save on your K-12 student for the 2015-2016 school year.
Evaluate What You Already Have
Compile the list that your child’s school sent you of necessary supplies with the list you undoubtedly have going in the back of your mind. Include everything from clothes to shoes to backpacks to colored pencils. Then take inventory. You may be surprised to find that you already have many of the items that you need. Does your child really need an entire new wardrobe for Fall 2015? Probably not. When you go through their closet, take note of which items they’re short on, and buy them a few key pieces instead of loading up on everything, including what they already have.
Consider Growth Spurts
At different ages, kids grow at different rates. If your child is due for a couple of inches, you may want to buy lower quality for a lower price. The pieces won’t have to last as long, so there’s not a huge advantage to spending more money on them. A great place to start looking in these instances is Walmart. They have basic school uniform pieces starting as low as $4.47.
If you have a child who is probably going to stay the same height, like many late-teenagers, buying higher quality to last the entire year makes more sense. Because they won’t be outgrowing their clothes, you won’t have to buy them as often, which means you should be concerned about how long they will last. If your school enforces a uniform policy, Macy’s has deals on pieces starting at $13.99.
Big box office supply stores, like Staples, are known for their rebates. When you couple them with sales, you can get items like crayons, notebooks, and colored pencils for free. Sometimes you can even make money off of the purchase. These rebates run year round, so watch them closely for the next months as you’re getting ready for school, but continue to watch them over the next year. Stock up when you find a great, free deal so you’ll be prepared for 2016-2017, cutting down on the time and money you spend shopping next summer.
There are certain brands worth spending a little more on. Get to know them. For example, Jansport backpacks are a great buy. Not only are they made well, they also come in trendy designs your kid will actually like. On top of all that, they stand behind their product so firmly that if it ever becomes nonfunctional for any reason, they will repair or replace it. That means if it tears, the zipper rusts out, or the bottom rips under the stress of five textbooks, you get a new one. For free. Buy a Jansport once, and never have to spend money on another backpack again.