I am literally finishing up back to school shopping, using most of the savings tips below. Some of these suggestions are similar to how you can save on school supplies. Please share other ideas that you have found to be effective in saving on other back to school necessities!
Since we have three boys, we have clothes that are handed down to younger brothers. Plus, my BFF keeps all of the “good stuff” from her son to pass onto my boys. Needless to say, we have lots of clothes, shoes, backpacks and just about anything else we could need.
Because of this, I always go through our boys current wardrobe to do an inventory for each season. It seems so counter-intuitive to buy long pants when it's still 90 degrees outside! Luckily we have items they can use to get them through the end of summer days and beginning fall weather.
Side back to school shopping and reusing note: I usually always purchase jeans at the outlet mall and spend what some may perceive as a higher amount. My main focus is on quality. Since we reuse them for years, the value is worth it for us.
Do you reuse clothing? Any tips for proper care to make them last longer?
This is one area that we always need purchased as new. I find the back to school shoping season the best time to purchase shoes for the kids throughout the entire year. Yeap, I suggested buying extras on supplies, I also find this has worked for me and our shoes.
I am ok with buying shoes for our boys a half to full size larger than what they currently wear for the purpose of buying ahead at my “buy now” price. This has always worked out fine for us, but I realize it may not be applicable for everyone. So far we haven't had any growth spurts to worry about (and even if we did, we have another boy who would eventually fit into them).
If you are worried that your child will outgrow the shoes before they are worn, just understand the return policy. Many are generous with a 90-day return policy as long as the receipt is with the item.
How many pair of shoes do your kids wear out a year? Do you ever buy multiple pair at back to school time?
Sale + Coupons = Buy Now!
We typically only buy the boys 2-3 new outfits for back to school. Since it's still hot here when they start, we need short sleeves and shorts. That means, these items are typically on clearance so we can purchase them at a greater discount (as I mention below). And, there are always coupons during back to school time to save even more.
I rarely purchase fall/winter clothes in the summer, unless I can get something like jeans at my “buy now” price. My “buy now” price for jeans does require a sale AND a coupon and often comes around during back to school sale time. I can purchase each pair for around $12. Making this purchase is the ONLY exception to purchasing fall clothes during back to school.
Have you noticed a specific week or time before school starts that you get the best prices and savings?
As I mentioned above, I just did some outlet shopping while visiting Florida. But, we are very lucky to live near a very nice Outlet Mall (and two more within 45 minutes). Now is the time to shop the outlets. They are having so many back to school sales and promotions that you can get an even greater savings on top of the outlet prices!
If you are near a Premier Outlet, you can sign up to be in the Premium Outlet VIP Club. It's free to join and the coupons are awesome! If you aren't near a Premier Outlet location, check with your outlet mall's service desk to see if they have special coupons to shop and save.
Do you live near an outlet mall? Do they offer coupons as well?
Clearance Price Shopping
As I mentioned above, NOW is the time to buy summer clothes! You will see summer items on Clearance to make room for all of the fall/winter clothing. Again, if you feel comfortable buying ahead on clothing, this is a great time to purchase brand new items for less than you could buy second hand. I have done this for years!
Do you have a favorite store for finding the best clearance deals? Any tips for shopping second hand?
Online Shopping + Sale + Coupons
I try to do a lot of my shopping online. It is so much less crowded in the stores that way :) In all honestly, I like to shop online because I can shop whenever – and wherever – I want all from the comfort of my own home. But, the other part about shopping online is that you can get paid to shop! Yeap, I share all the details in detail about shopping online and earning cash back.
Most stores offer attractive discount codes and offers for you to shop online. You can typically use the same $ off $$ coupons online, get FREE Shipping AND on top of all of that you get a % back for your online purchase. Tell me what can be wrong with that again??!!
And, of course don't miss out on the great JCPenney.com $10 off $10 code PLUS Free Shipping on shoes! This is a perfect example of how shopping online helps you save a lot!
Do you shop online for back to school? Any favorite stores?
Smart Phone Savings
A few weeks ago, I was with friends in Florida. There was an amazing outlet mall so we stopped in (we stopped once, but drove by lots :). As we were heading to the check-out at Gap, I knew that a current Gap Outlet coupon was available. I posted it the week before so I did a quick search on the site and up popped the 20% Gap Outlet coupon.
During checkout, I showed the cashier my phone at checkout and received my discount. He was apprehensive at first as he had never used a coupon from a phone before, but he was more intrigued than anything. Went through just fine and I saved!
There are some great apps available that have retail coupons compiled for you! My favorite app for getting great retail discounts with my iPhone is Coupon Sherpa.
Hopefully with these tips and the 7 Tips to Save on Back to School Supplies you can save even more during this back to school shopping season!
Do you have any other good money-saving Back to School Shopping tips?