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Back To School Shopping 101

July 28, 2011 | Alliant Credit Union

Receiving the teacher's supply list marks the official start to back to school shopping season and to your kids one of the best things about going back to school, shopping for new school supplies, bag and first day of school outfit. Having the "it" supplies and outfit can help set the tone for the rest of the year. However, as a parent you may only see dollar signs and a lot of them. But the back to season shopping season doesn't always have to mean spending a fortune. Here are some ideas to get what your kids' need and save a few dollars along the way.

Hold Off
Wait until after the first day of school to purchase trendier items or a full back to school wardrobe for your kids. After the first day, their opinions of what they want, or like, may change based on what their friends are using and wearing. This will avoid them having to beg you to go shopping again and you wasting money on things they're not going to use or wear.

Hit The Sales
Many retailers begin advertising and putting new fall trends on the sales floor for back to school season in early July or sooner. Thus, your kids, depending on age, know where they want to shop and what they need to buy. By the end of August or early September many of these trendier items will be on sale for stores to make room for winter trends and holiday merchandise, so let your child pick out one new outfit for the first day if they have to have something. Better yet, let them select a new outfit from the summer clearance section or find something from their current wardrobe and then schedule a shopping spree at a later date when fall items are on sale.

Stick To The List
The teacher's supply list is exciting and overwhelming all at the same time, but don't waste your time or money on items not on the list. Yes, the extra supplies your child is begging for in the school supply aisle are super cute, but they'll probably never use them.

If you know your child is going to ask for such supplies again next year, let them know that they have to save money over the summer to purchase them. It will make them appreciate it more and potentially increase the use of it. For summer job ideas, read Summer Job Tips For Your Kids.

Take Inventory
Take inventory of what you and your kids have leftover from last school year before going shopping for new supplies. You may find that you have unused supplies or gently used supplies that you can check off the teacher's supply list to save a little money.

This may also be an opportunity to stress the importance of taking care of school supplies. If your child can reuse select school supplies from last year in the new school year, you may be able to reward them by putting the savings towards buying a couple must have super cute gotta have it supplies.

BTS Swap Party
Invite moms with kids the same gender as your kids but different ages and begin hosting an annual BTS swap party. You could swap clothes, toys, books and more to help save money. It also presents a great opportunity to trade tips and tricks on shopping and finding the best deals during the back to school shopping season. Have your pen and paper ready to take notes!

When do you start back to school shopping and what are your cost cutting tips and tricks? Join the conversation by leaving a comment on Facebook or sending us a Tweet to @AlliantCU. Who doesn't love saving money?


© 2011 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.

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