Day 6 Back to School Shopping: Start Checking Ads NOW!

Each year retailers start putting sales on Back To School products mid July- this may seem early to start looking to fill your kiddos book bags, but it is the best time to do so! Most retailers offer great deals that you can’t pass up and while you are there they hope you purchase their other items with that idea of, I’m already here so why not get everything else now. But if you are looking to make the most of your budget and save the largest amount you can, then you must plan to shop each week until school starts just for the cheap items!

Here are some tips you need to save the maximum amount you can for Back To School shopping:

  • Shop multiple stores: To maximize your budget you will need to shop multiple stores to get the best deals and the most savings. But this does not mean waste money and time traveling to 30 stores each day each week! Check the ads or here for my best back to school deals each week, and find what you need for the best price. Incorporate your shopping trips with your work schedule or doctor visits, don’t go out of your way to hit up a store for a great deal, just stop on your way home from work or on your way to your soccer practice!
  • Compare prices: Each week I share the best back to school deals or you can check your local ads in the newspaper and see who has the best deals before you head out. You can also take your ad with you to certain stores and they will price match your best deal!
  • Buy more than what you need: If you find a great deal, buy more than what you need now. Starting the kiddos off with new supplies at the beginning of the school year is always great, but what about January. January comes and your kiddos are out of pencils, crayons are broken and have 3 sheets of paper left in their notebooks. Now your stuck buying more school supplies in January when nothing is on sale and most likely paying more than you need to for these supplies! If you would of picked up a few extra supplies in August when everything was dirt cheap, you could just pull from your stockpile and save big-spending nothing in January!!

Here is my list of prices that I compare to when I’m Back To School shopping! When I find deals close to these prices I snag up as many as I can!

  • Individual Highlighters .09 each
  • Highlighters 4pk .49 each
  • Pencils 10ct .19 each
  • Pens 8-10ct .19 each
  • 1 Subject Notebooks .30 each
  • Filler Paper .25 each
  • 5 Tab Dividers .39 each
  • Crayons .25 each
  • Binders .39 each
  • Scissors .50 each
  • Pocket Folders .09 each
  • Glue 4oz .25 each
  • Glue Sticks 2-4ct .25 each
  • Ruler .40 each
  • Compass .40 each
  • Backpacks $7-$10 each

Looking for more Ways To Save While Back To School Shopping, check out
30 Days of Tips for Back To School Shopping!

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Day 5 Back to School Shopping: Check For Tax FREE Days

Check out these great states that offer Tax-FREE days or weekends at your local retails to snag some additional savings when shopping back to school! Some states have a limit as to how much they will allow to receive the discount on, so be sure to check your local retail when you head out for your shopping trip! You can check here for more details as well!

Alabama: clothing – $100, computers – $750, school supplies – $50, books – $30  8/7-8/9
Arkansas: Clothing, School Supplies 8/1-8/2
Connecticut: Clothing and footwear – $100 8/16-8/22
Florida: clothing – $100, supplies – $15, computers – $750 8/7-8/16
Georgia: School Supplies, Clothes, Computers 7/31-8/1
Iowa: Clothing and footwear 8/7-8/8
Maryland: Clothing & Footwear 8/9-8/15
Mississippi: clothing and footwear   7/31-8/1
Missouri: Clothing, Supplies, Computers 8/7-8/9
New Mexico: Clothing – $100, computers – $1,000, computer equip. – $500, school supplies – $30 8/7-8/9
Ohio: Clothing – $70, School supplies – $20, Instructional material – $20 8/7-8/9
Oklahoma: Clothing and footwear 8/7-8/9
South Carolina: Clothing, School Supplies, Computers 8/7-8/9
Tennessee: Sales tax holiday for clothing, computers and school supplies 8/7/-8/9
Texas: Clothing, backpacks and school supplies- $100 8/7-8/9
Virginia: Clothing, school supplies, energy star products, etc 8/7-8/9

Looking for more Ways To Save While Back To School Shopping, check out
30 Days of Tips for Back To School Shopping!

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Day 4 Back to School Shopping: Make a List & Ask The Kiddos

Before I head out for Back To School Shopping I make my list of needed supplies and clothes for my girls. But before I head out I ask my girls what kind of items they are looking for to head back to school and start the year off right! It is always great to hear their ideas as to what type of items they want in their lockers, what kind of back packs and clothes they want!

I do take my girls with me on a couple of the shopping trips, but limit them. I know that may seem silly to not take them with me but there is a really good reason! Cost! If I took my girls with my to get all of their back to school shopping I would need to triple my budget. They get very excited to shop and buy new items for the new school year. They would not look at the budget or prices or sales or how many we already have at home! So I do let them give me ideas and tell me what they love and then I shop without them to get the best deal with sales, coupons and special promotions!

So here are a few questions I ask my girls before I start our Back To School Shopping or while out with them to look and get ideas:

  • Are there styles of clothes you are interested in- colors, designs, brands, stores, etc
  • Are there any items you need to keep you organized this year
  • Are there any must haves this year- certain book bag, particular pair of jeans or a super cute shade of nail polish
  • Are there items we need to get for home to make back to school a breeze- bins, totes, new printers, organizing items, etc
  • What kind of food and snacks are you wanting for breakfast, lunch and after school snacks

Sometimes I do splurge! Not everything falls into my budget or on sale. And as much as I love to save, I would rather buy something a little over my budget and make sure my girls will use the item and love it. Rather then come September and the item can’t be found because they hid it under their bed! So even though they may ask for an item not on sale be willing to spend a little more on one item while you still save a ton on all the other items they need! Believe me, it will make your kiddos happy and hopefully start the new school year off in a good way!

Looking for more Ways To Save While Back To School Shopping, check out
30 Days of Tips for Back To School Shopping!

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Day 3 Back to School Shopping: Check Last Years Supplies & Stockpile

Before I make my list of needed supplies and clothes for our Back To School Shopping, I always check everything I have left over from last year. Using what you already have can save you quite a bit of money and the time shopping for new items!

I do buy more items than I need when they are on sale so that they are available to our kiddos when they need them throughout the school year. So I check to see what all we have new from last year. I keep all of my stockpiled school supplies near our computer for easy access and to keep them organized!

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I also check the supplies they brought home at the end of the school year. Our oldest cleaned out her locker at the end of the year to bring home 2 folders that were never used. She also can re-use her calculator from last year as well as her lock for her locker. Re-using these items will not only save me money, but time out shopping for them.

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There are many items that can easily be re-used; notebooks, erasers, makers, crayons, binders, backpacks, calculators, combination locks, etc. Re-using last years items are going to depend on how hard your child is on their supplies. Our oldest daughter still has school shoes that we bought back in April that look like they have never worn, but our middle daughters shoes, bought at the same time, look as if they are 3 years old. So if you have one that is harder on their belongings this may not work, but it is always good to check and see if there is anything you can re-use!

Looking for more Ways To Save While Back To School Shopping, check out
30 Days of Tips for Back To School Shopping!

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Day 2 Back to School Shopping: Clean Out The Old

Before I make my list of needed clothes, I go through what we have now. Not only to clear out the old but figure out what we need to buy! I start with basics, clearing out underwear, socks, leggins, etc then onto shirt, shorts, pants, then finally shoes! I will ask that the kiddos help with this task. Even though I am pretty good at knowing what fits my girls, there are always a few items that look like they may fit and then end up not fitting at all. So I let them play dress up with the clothes I need them to try on! Then we sort…

We had 4 boxes to separate unwanted clothes:

Donate- clothes that are gently used that we could drop off at our local Goodwill store

Throw Away- clothes that are beyond repair and can not be donated

Pass Down- with 3 girls I have several totes in the garage that I keep clothes from the older girls to pass down to the younger ones. There has been many of times that I have gone to put a pair of jeans on our youngest daughter and none of them fit, seems like over night she grew 3 inches. I can then rummage through the hand me downs totes until I can buy her new pants. This also is a great way to save a little cash, not having to always buy new clothes for all 3 girls. We do buy several new pieces to make sure the girls clothes look fresh and they don’t have only hand me downs!

Re-Sale- I also sort out items that I know could bring a little extra cash to our back To School budget that I will take to our local re-sale shop and make a few dollars!

Then I begin my list of what they need for the beginning of school year.

Looking for more Ways To Save While Back To School Shopping, check out
30 Days of Tips for Back To School Shopping!

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Day 1 Back to School Shopping: Set a Budget & Stick To It

Back To School Shopping is the second most planned out shopping trip for my family, Black Friday being the first! With 3 girls that all attend different schools, have different likes and each of them wanting everything they see, I have learned over the years what works and what doesn’t when planning out our Back To School Shopping!

The first thing I do every year and sit down and plan our budget! This year will be a little bigger than last year due to our youngest now heading to kindergarten. Although we will no longer have pre-school tuition, the amount of back to school supplies are more than what was needed last year so we will spend a little more to start off.

Most schools have started posting on the school website calendars and supply lists for each grade, so head to the school’s website and print out your child’s grade list. This will give you an idea what is expected to start. Although each teacher will have a separate list of supplies they require for their class, you will at least have an idea of what to buy and get a head start of grabbing the best deals.

You should also include your child when you start to create this list and your budget. They will feel more involved and may get them excited to head back to school if they feel that they have a say in their supplies & clothing purchase! They may also have specific requests for colors or designs, which will help you in the end- less returns for you and less hated supplies & clothes by the kiddos!

When planning your budget, consider everything that goes along with Back To School Shopping. It’s not just about clothes and supplies. They will most likely need a new haircut, school fees, physicals, pictures, etc. Which can all add up quickly and can be a large chunk of cash! So consider how much you have to spend on all of these items and beginning mapping out a list with amount you can spend. Here is an example of the spreadsheet I use to keep on track.

Back To School Budget $2,000
Description Budget Actual Spent Difference
Clothes (including basics) $600 $600
Shoes $450 $450
School Supplies $250 $250
School Fees $175 $175
School Pictures $160 $160
Back To School Physicals $200 $200
Hair Cuts $125 $125
misc $40 $40
$0
$0
$0
$0
Total $2,000 $0 $2,000

Once you know how much you have available to spend, keep your budget with you at all times. Then make a list of each of the supplies and clothing items you need for each child on one master list and keep it with you at all times as well. This way if you are at Target for a new shower curtain and see they are having a sale on jeans, you can purchase them now and cross them off your list. Saving you money and time later! Keeping an up to date list of things you already bought will keep you from buying duplicates. I keep a small envelope in my purse with my budget, list and the receipts of all the purchases I have made for our Back To School Shopping. This is great for returns and price comparing, everything is all in one place!

Looking for more Ways To Save While Back To School Shopping, check out
30 Days of Tips for Back To School Shopping!

This post may contain a link from a sponsor/affiliate of Just Trying To Save Money. Please see my Disclosure Policy

Looking for more coupons? Check our Coupon Database for the latest coupons!

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30 Days of Tips for Back To School Shopping

Every year Back To School Shopping seems to come sooner and sooner. Before you know it, summer is over, school is starting and you have a very long list of items to purchase. Here are a few tips we use each year to make our Back to School shopping easy, painless and easy on the wallet!

  • Day 1 Back to School Shopping: Set a Budget & Stick To It
  • Day 2 Back to School Shopping: Clean Out All The Old
  • Day 3 Back to School Shopping: Check Last Years Supplies & Stockpile
  • Day 4 Back to School Shopping: Make a List & Ask The Kiddos
  • Day 5 Back to School Shopping: Check For Tax FREE Days
  • Day 6 Back to School Shopping: Start Checking Ads NOW!
  • Day 7 Back to School Shopping: Check Prices With Apps
  • Day 8 Back to School Shopping: Spread Out Shopping for Less Stressful Trips
  • Day 9 Back to School Shopping: Plan Your Trips Around Other Errands
  • Day 10 Back to School Shopping: Don’t Shop For Back To School With Your Kiddos Friends
  • Day 11 Back to School Shopping: Ask Your Teachers For Advice On What To Really Buy
  • Day 12 Back to School Shopping: Check Re-Sale Stores & Craigslist
  • Day 13 Back to School Shopping: Buy More Now to Save Later
  • Day 14 Back to School Shopping: Sell Your Old Stuff To Pay for the New Stuff
  • Day 15 Back to School Shopping: Buy The Basics First
  • Day 16 Back to School Shopping: Shop Summer Clearance NOW!
  • Day 17 Back to School Shopping: Don’t Buy Fall & Winter Clothes Now
  • Day 18 Back to School Shopping: Shop Online & Save Time & Stress
  • Day 19 Back to School Shopping: Look for Rewards, Shop Now Get Something for Later!
  • Day 20 Back to School Shopping: Buy Quality Electronics To Spend Less later
  • Day 21 Back to School Shopping: Use Coupons
  • Day 22 Back to School Shopping: Plan a Supply Swap With Other Mom’s
  • Day 23 Back to School Shopping: Use Bloggers
  • Day 24 Back to School Shopping: Be Willing To Shop Multiple Stores
  • Day 25 Back to School Shopping: Check The Grocery for School Supplies
  • Day 26 Back to School Shopping: Join Mailing Lists of Your Favorite Retailers
  • Day 27 Back to School Shopping: Plan Out Lunch Menu’s With The Kiddos
  • Day 28 Back to School Shopping: Start Stockpiling Snacks for Lunches
  • Day 29 Back to School Shopping: Label Everything!
  • Day 30 Back to School Shopping: Relax & Enjoy The Time Left Before Another Busy School Year Starts

Other Tips To Help Save During Back To School Shopping:

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