How to save on back-to-school shopping in 2023

How to save on back-to-school shopping As summer winds down, the familiar rush of back-to-school preparations begins. From new backpacks to shiny notebooks, the list of essential supplies can quickly add up.


How to save on back-to-school shopping

Causing stress for parents and students alike. However, with some strategic planning and savvy shopping.


You can navigate the back-to-school season without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll explore a variety of tips and tricks to help you save big on back-to-school shopping.


Make a Detailed Shopping List

Start by creating a comprehensive shopping list that outlines everything your child needs for the upcoming school year.


Categorize items by priority and necessity, such as must-have school supplies, clothing, and electronics. By having a clear list, you’ll avoid impulsive purchases and focus on the essentials.


Set a Budget

Determine a realistic budget for your back-to-school shopping and stick to it. This will prevent overspending and help you make informed decisions.


Allocate specific amounts to different categories on your shopping list, ensuring that you prioritize needs over wants.


Take Inventory of Existing Supplies

Before hitting the stores, take stock of what you already have at home. You might be surprised to find unused notebooks, pens, or backpacks from the previous year. Reusing these items can significantly reduce your shopping expenses.


Shop During Tax-Free Weekends

Many states offer tax-free weekends before the start of the school year, during which certain items like clothing, footwear, and school supplies are exempt from sales tax. Plan your shopping around these weekends to maximize your savings.


Compare Prices and Look for Deals

Take advantage of online price comparison tools and apps to find the best deals on your desired items. Look for promotions, discounts, and special offers from different retailers.


Don’t hesitate to sign up for store newsletters to receive exclusive coupons and early access to sales.


Buy in Bulk

Consider buying supplies in bulk, especially items that are frequently used throughout the school year, like notebooks, pens, and pencils. Warehouse clubs and office supply stores often offer discounts for bulk purchases.


Shop Secondhand

Explore thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces for gently used clothing and school essentials. You might find high-quality items at a fraction of the original cost.


Host a Clothing Swap

Organize a clothing swap with friends, neighbors, or fellow parents. This is a fun and sustainable way to refresh your child’s wardrobe without spending a dime. Participants can exchange gently worn clothing, shoes, and accessories.


Utilize Student Discounts

Many retailers offer student discounts on a wide range of products, from clothing to electronics. Don’t forget to inquire about these discounts and present your student ID when making purchases.


DIY and Upcycling

Get creative by DIY-ing certain school supplies or upcycling existing items. You can personalize notebooks, pencil cases, and backpacks, giving them a unique touch without the hefty price tag.


Wait for Clearance Sales

Patience can pay off when it comes to back-to-school shopping. Wait a few weeks into the school year to take advantage of clearance sales, when retailers are eager to clear out excess inventory.


How to save on back-to-school shopping

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to drain your bank account. By following these practical tips and strategies, you can save big while still ensuring your child is prepared for the upcoming school year.


Create a Price-Matching Strategy

Some retailers offer price-matching policies, where they’ll match a lower price from a competitor for the same item.

consider shopping for back-to-school


Research which stores in your area offer this option and keep track of the deals available.  This way, you can get the best price without having to visit multiple stores.


Shop Off-Season

While it might not always be feasible, consider shopping for back-to-school items during off-peak seasons. For instance, winter clothing and supplies can be purchased during summer sales, and summer items can be acquired during winter clearance events.


Use Cashback and Rewards Programs

Sign up for cashback and rewards programs offered by credit cards or online platforms. Many of these programs provide cashback or points for every purchase you make, which can later be redeemed for discounts, gift cards, or even cash.


Set Up a Dedicated Back-to-School Savings Account

Open a separate bank account specifically for back-to-school expenses. Contribute a small amount each month to this account throughout the year, so you’ll have a substantial fund ready when the back-to-school season arrives.


Plan Group Buys

Coordinate with other parents in your community to pool your resources and make bulk purchases. This can help you secure better deals, especially on items like classroom supplies or textbooks.


How to save on back-to-school shopping

Remember, planning ahead, setting a budget, and being resourceful are key to a successful and cost-effective back-to-school shopping experience. With a little effort and creativity, you can navigate the back-to-school season without the stress of overspending.


Consider Generic Brands

In many cases, generic or store-brand items offer the same quality as name-brand products at a lower cost. Compare ingredients, materials, and reviews to make informed choices.


Limit Non-Essential Purchases

While it’s tempting to buy trendy or fashionable items, focus on purchasing only what your child truly needs for school. Limit impulse purchases of non-essential items to stay within your budget.


Involve Your Child in the Process

Engage your child in back-to-school shopping decisions. This not only teaches them about budgeting and making wise choices but also ensures that you buy items they genuinely like and will use.


Repurpose and Reuse

Before discarding old items, consider whether they can be repurposed for the new school year. A slightly worn backpack could become a gym bag, and last year’s binders might just need new covers.


DIY School Lunches

Packing lunches can save money compared to purchasing school meals. Get creative with homemade lunches and snacks, and involve your child in planning and preparing their meals.


Opt for Digital Textbooks

For older students, digital textbooks can often be more affordable than their print counterparts. Look into options for renting or purchasing digital versions of required textbooks.


Teach Financial Literacy

Use the back-to-school shopping experience as an opportunity to educate your child about budgeting, money management, and the importance of making informed spending decisions.



Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be a financial burden. By combining practical strategies, creative thinking, and a willingness to shop smart.


How to save on back-to-school shopping

You can save a significant amount of money while ensuring your child is well-prepared for the upcoming school year. Remember, the key is to plan ahead, stay organized, and make conscious choices that align with your budget and financial goals.

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