Sarah Deveau: Money Matters


Save on Back to School Supplies

Spend Less This Year

Who knew kids could grow out of all of their clothing, and lose all of their school supplies in the eight weeks since school let out in June? Of course they didn’t. So why do so many parents shop as if they had?

Here are some tips for those looking to spend less this year on clothing and school supplies.

Have the kids help. If children are involved in every step of the process, they’re less likely to badger and whine for items they understand are not in the budget. They’ll also ensure you don’t waste money buying items they’ll refuse to wear. Negotiate - if a new backpack isn't in the budget, maybe a new pencil case is?

Check the closets. Empty the closets and scour the house for last year’s school supplies and to see what clothing fits and what doesn’t, and which items bought on sale “for next year” really will fit this year.

Make a list. Not everything needs to be bought for September 1. Decide which items are needed to bulk up last year’s wardrobe and school supplies, and what you can wait to buy in after-Christmas sales.

Ignore the brands. Schools often identify which brand to purchase on the school supply list, and it can be more expensive than office supply store house brand versions. When in doubt, buy the least expensive brand.

Shop around. Keep an eye on flyers and check out the loss leaders, especially when it comes to school supplies. While large discount stores might have the overall best price, certain items can be much cheaper when office supply stores price them low to get you in the doors.