Sunday, July 25, 2010

Back to School Shopping Tips That Work

Shopping for back to school items can be a very costly adventure for most families. It can be difficult when you have a shoe string budget and several students to cloth and to prepare for school. For many parents it is easy to go to the local store and purchase items. Unfortunately a shopper can pay 20 to 30 percent more by not considering the cost of the items they are purchasing.

It is better purchase back to school items when you can shop with patience. When you are in a rush to make a purchase and there is no planning involved you pay more. One of my major recommendations is to plan your shopping dates. If you have a plan you can avoid making unnecessary purchases. It’s amazing how many items you can add to your shopping cart that you did not intend to purchase. It's better to do your shopping before you go on vacation during August. It seems that when most families return from a late summer vacation classes are not far away. If you do not have an inventory of the things you already have you will make a costly purchases.

Each year the number of parents who are shopping online is growing. If you shop online many retailers offer discounts and free shipping. You will save money and purchase just the item you need. Some schools require certain clothes like Kaki pants and a green shirt. These items can be found on clothing websites too. The websites for Target and Walmart offer many of these clothing items. If you do your research early you can find a lot of savings.

Some shoppers stay away from the dollar store because they believe that these items are inferior. There are tremendous savings right in the dollar store. You can purchase binders, composition books, pencils, pens, crayons each for a dollar. Some of these items are perfectly good but other stores have sold them to the dollar store. Start your shopping at the dollar store and you will find some great savings.

There are some other valuable back to school shopping tips to consider. Here are my top five: (1) ask retailers about special back to school discounts, (2) shop and share with a group of friends, (3) search for a good laptop on websites like Dell and Apple, (4) ask your local book store about their next sales day, (5) take your list of items you have on your shopping trip. These tips all work when you apply them. Try something new and you will find that your savings ideas will explode.

The best way to enjoy your back to school experience is organizing a plan that you will follow. Involve your children by getting them to look for discounts. You can give them points toward the purchase of something they want. Getting a child’s participation will be a great way to make their new school year exciting. You can look on their school website to determine the items that your child needs. Every student wants to feel like they are prepared for the new school year. Let your back to school purchases be catalyst for an exceptional new year.

Dr Stephen Jones is national speaker, an education coach and author of Seven Secrets of How to Study, Parent's Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide at

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