As we move into fall the new school year is right around the corner, and for parents everywhere that means one thing—back to school shopping.
For many, this is nothing but a chore that’s guaranteed to cost you an arm and a leg. Not to mention, you’ll be faced with the joys of navigating your way through packed aisles, whining kids, and searching for that one item that you just can’t seem to find anywhere.
But don’t worry, Mobee has some tips for you that can make school supply shopping much easier on your mind, and your wallet.
No. 1: Take Note of What You Already Have
Unless this is your first time ever sending a little one off to school, then you probably already have some of what you need without even having to go to the store yet.
Every household, especially one with kids in it, has tons of miscellaneous school supplies scattered all throughout. Look for things like pencils, pens, or even scissors that you can spare for your kid’s upcoming year. Do they still have their backpack from last year? Are their shoes still in good condition?
All of these items can add up to some pretty good savings if you don’t have to buy them brand new for this school year.
No. 2: Buy In Bulk
This tip is especially helpful if your household has multiple kiddos, but even if you’ve only got one or two, they’ll still need to restock supplies later on down the year.
Many stores offer items like writing utensils, notebooks, paper, or folders in bulk packs. Often, buying things in bundles means you will be spending at a discounted rate overall than what you would have paid for each item individually.
Wholesale stores are usually the best for this, but sometimes places like Walmart or Office Depot can also have good deals.
No. 3: Buy Online
Some of the best school supply deals you’ll ever find will be online.
Sites like Amazon like to put certain items on sale as we get closer to the start of the year, which is why one of the smartest moves is to watch those deals and keep things in your basket for a little while, just in case a sale pops up. One perk of shopping online is that it allows you to compare prices and make sure you’re getting the best deal, so take advantage of the options you have in front of you.
Don’t forget that your kids will probably be needing some new school clothes and shoes as well. There are always deals on these types of necessities, and maybe even more options to choose from if you’re shopping online.
Many parents want to try and avoid the lines and crowds as much as they can, and shopping online can definitely be a great tool to get what you need, comfortably and affordably.
No. 4: Figure Out What You Can Put Off for Later
Back-to-school can be anxiety inducing, but there’s a secret you should know—your kids don’t actually need all of their supplies by the first day!
Some of the supplies on their lists won’t get used for weeks to come, maybe even months. Figure out which items are absolute essentials and then put off whatever you can get away with for later. This way, you’re spreading your expenses out over a longer period of time and it doesn’t feel like you’re spending too much money all at once.
Things like winter clothes won’t be needed for at least a few months, and there won’t be many options available for them in stores anyway, so consider waiting a while before you purchase them.
Even backpacks or cute new lunchboxes can wait a little while if you’re strategic about it. Plus, stores often discount school-related items after the year has started, so it can be a better deal for you in the long-run.
No. 5: Combine Discounts Wherever You Can
Many times, there are ways you can use multiple discounts to buy higher priced items, but it takes some planning ahead.
You can use coupons, store promotions, discount web browser add-ons, or even your Mobee rewards to help you budget your back-to-school shopping. Some places allow price-matching as well, which can bring the price tag down even further.
Mobee rewards get issued to you in the form of gift cards, so they can be stacked with any other discount you find. Just complete some Missions in your area, get them approved, and allow you rewards to add up.
On top of all this, consider shopping during tax-free weekend to lower prices even more. Depending on your state, you can complete tax-free purchases on clothes, school supplies, and even technology.
No. 6: Plan Ahead for Next Year
There’s no need to buy new things every single year. Sometimes it’s worth it to buy the more expensive or name-brand item if it will last your child longer.
Plus, the earlier in advance you plan, the easier it will be to save money further down the line.
Not all schools provide a supply list far enough in advance to buy everything ahead of time, but you can still think ahead about what your kids will likely need. Stocking up on all the essentials little by little as the current school year goes by will soften the hit to your wallet.
Getting ready for back-to-school can be stressful, but with your school supply shopping taken care of there’s nothing left to worry about. Using some of these tips, you can spend more time being excited about a new year of learning for your kiddos.