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15 Easy Ways to Save Money on Back to School Shopping

>> Friday, August 6, 2010

Today I have a guest post by Kristl of The Budget Diet. The subject is Back to School which is newly on my mind with my little one entering kindergarten in less than a week! The Budget Diet is a diet for your wallet…not your waistline! You'll discover new money saving tips everyday to help you slim down your daily spending! The Budget Diet girl is not a financial planner or an accountant…just a mom that knows how to live the good life on a budget! Follow The Budget Diet on Facebook or Twitter.

Did you know that the average American family spends $400 per child on back to
school expenses?

Take a look at these 15 easy ways to save on back to school shopping, and I’m sure
you’ll find a way to take a bite out of that $400 per child back to school expense!

1. Resale Shops: When it comes to clothes shopping, consider giving teens a
clothing allowance, and let them make the choice of where to shop. They might think
twice about buying a brand new pair of $80 jeans when they could buy 4 pairs of
trendy jeans at resale shops like Platos Closet or Buffalo Exchange. Consider it a
lesson in budgeting for your teen! Click here to read more about saving money at
resale or consignment shops.

2. Tax Free Weekend: Do you know when your state’s tax free shopping weekend
is? Click here for a complete list of dates by state.

3. Needs vs. Wants: Back to school shopping is the perfect time to have a
discussion about needs vs. wants with your child. Before shopping, take time to
organize your child’s closet and make a list of the items he or she really needs.
Then…with list in hand…tackle those needs and avoid the temptation of wants!

4. Coupon Codes: If you’re shopping online…don’t leave the coupon
code box blank! Take a moment to search for coupon codes at sites
likeRetailMeNot.com or Dealslip.com. If you’re not familiar with saving money using
coupon codes, click here to learn how.

5. Backpacks: Have you ever thought of T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s or Ross for
backpacks? Last year, we bought a name brand, $65 backpack for $12.99, it was
exactly what my daughter was looking for!

6. Textbook Rental: If you have a college student, it’s time to look into renting
textbooks and saving big! Save 5% on your textbook rental at Chegg with coupon
Aff5! Exp. 8/20Click here to read more about how textbook rentals work.

7. Discounted Gift Cards: Do you regularly shop stores like Payless Shoes, Target,
Children’s Place or Kohl’s? Take time out today to order discounted gift cards…they’ll
arrive in just a few days, and you’ll enjoy instant savings! $100 gift cards for as low
as $70 to purchase brand name products at your favorite stores! PlasticJungle -Buy,
sell & trade gift cards

8. Lunch Boxes: There are plenty of options for reusable lunch boxes, and now you
can Kick the Plastic Bag Habit with a snack taxi! Use coupon code: BACK2SCHOOL
to save 15% on your snack taxi order thru 8/31/10. Save money and save the earth!

9. Scout Uniforms: You’ll find huge savings on gently used Scout uniforms on e-
bay!

10. Haircuts: Oh the ways you can save on haircuts! Try your local beauty
school for a haircut at a fraction of the cost. If your son has a basic crew cut, my
friend promises it’s easy to do yourself…she said her razor even came with hair
cutting instructions! Maybe your child only needs a bang trim…did you know
most salons offer complimentary bang trims or bang trims for as little as $5. A
quick bang trim is an easy way to extend the time between expensive haircuts!

11. School Supplies: The sales have begun, and it’s worth the price of your Sunday
paper to check out the massive amount of sale ads and compare prices. You’ll
always find the Walmart, Target and Office Depot sale insert in the Sunday paper.
How about letting your older children look for the best buys and make the shopping
list?

12. Musical Instruments: New to the band or orchestra? You might consider renting
your child’s musical instrument for the first year to make sure it’s something they plan
to stick with!

13. Water Bottles: More than 40 billion plastic water bottles are used each year in
the U.S., and about 2/3 of those end up in landfills! Kick the plastic water bottle habit
this year, and you’ll save about $20 a month. Those cute metal refillable bottles are

available for a few bucks at Homegoods, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or Ross.

14. School Projects: Each year we buy so many tri-fold display boards and
expensive foam core boards for school projects…only to throw them away at the end
of the school year. I’ve finally come up with an easy money saving alternative…use
ticky-tack to adhere the information to the display board, and when the project is
complete, simply remove and reuse! You’ll even be able to reuse those pricey die-cut
letters!

15. Sports Equipment: Huge savings await you on sports equipment at places like Goodwill, Play It Again Sports & E-Bay. You might also consider trading in your used or outgrown sports equipment at Play It Again Sports.

How will you save money on your back to school shopping?

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