Tips to save on back to school shopping

We know! We know! The sun is shining and you’re still planning your summer vacation. The last thing you want to think about right now is back to school. But in a short seven weeks the bells will be ringing and class will be back in session.

Summer or not, it’s time to start thinking about ways to save for your back to school shopping. As the second most expensive shopping season of the year, you’ll want to plan ahead to get the most out of your back to school dollars.

Last year, 63 per cent of Canadian parents indicated that they expected to spend at least $500 on back to school shopping; and 40 per cent planned to buy at least one gadget or electronic device for their kids.

Add that new gadget to the new backpack, outfit and school supplies, and your expenses can quickly add up to cause problems for your budget.

Below are some tips to save on back to school shopping:

  • Make a list of everything your kids will need when classes start in September. Make sure they help with the list.
  • Shop at home first. Look through last year’s supplies to see what can be reused and recycled.
  • Comparison shop online and in flyers to get an idea of how much your back to school shopping will cost.
  • Put aside a little money each week, or pay period. This will help you cover the cost of back to school without having to rely on credit cards.
  • Keep an eye out for sales. If an item from your list goes on sale for a great price, pick it up now instead of waiting until the last minute.
  • Have kids pitch in on ‘big ticket’ wants. If they absolutely cannot go back to school without a new iPad, set a budget and work on the savings together throughout the summer.

Going back to school shouldn’t mean breaking the bank. But if you don’t plan ahead, you may find yourself scrambling to cover the extra expenditures come September. Also, take this opportunity to get your kids involved in the budgeting process. After all, most of your back-to-school purchases are for them.

If you’re looking for other great ways to teach your kids the value of a dollar, check out Consolidated Credit’s free publication Talking Money with Your Kids. It’s full of great tips to help get them on the road to a financially healthy future.

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