19 Aug

Written by Kristin on August 19, 2011

With the end of summer looming, kids and parents are getting in back-to-school mode, and that means time to think about shopping. Whilst shopping for the new school year can get expensive, it doesn’t have to be a massive drain on your wallet if you stick to a budget and keep an eye out for deals.

Check what you have and make a list: Before you do anything, start out by taking inventory of what your family has and what you need. If last year’s school shoes still fit, no need to buy new ones. After you take inventory, make a detailed list of what each child needs for back to school. Don’t deviate from your list, no matter how much your eleven-year-old cries that “EVERYONE” has that pricey bag.

Set expectations and a budget: Let your children know what you are able to spend on things for school, and stick to that number. If your children are old enough to do their own shopping, consider giving them cash to take to the shops. This gives teens a lesson in budgeting, and once they realize how expensive those Ugg boots are, they may think twice about buying them if it means there’s no money left for other clothes. If there’s something your kids still absolutely “must” have, then let them save their pocket money to buy it later, or put it on their Christmas or birthday wish list.

Use your phone: If you have a smartphone, take advantage of applications that help you save money. Voucher Cloud uses a GPS to show you sales in your area, whilst price scanner apps like iBARCODE and ShopSavvy let you scan a product in the store and compare prices of the same item in other shops nearby.

Utilise Facebook and Twitter: Look for your favourite stores on Facebook and Twitter and “like” or follow their pages; many stores will be posting special back-to-school deals for Facebook/Twitter fans only such as 20% off your order or free shipping.

Buy used: Search for gently used books at sites like Amazon and Waterstones Marketplace to save money off new hardcovers.

Watch for promo codes: Check our special section of the site at static.promotionalcodes.org.uk/blog/back-to-school for money-saving offers on back to school necessities such as clothing, shoes, books and more. The page is updated daily, so come back frequently to look for new deals.

Look for free shipping: When shopping online, wait until your favourite shops have a free shipping offer before ordering, or use the “collect in store” option (if available) to avoid delivery costs.

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