DETROIT (WWJ) – Summer is winding down and anticipation for a new school year is building. Back to school season means shopping for new clothes, school supplies, computers, textbooks and dorm room basics.
The market research firm Morpace reported in 2010 households with school-age children spent an average of $404 on back to school items.
To make the most of those dollars, shopping experts at DealTaker.com have put together some tips:
- Wherever possible, look for bargains from sites that post deals and discounts.
- Stick to the school district’s lists of required supplies, and avoid the fancy stuff. Light-up erasers, pencils with feathers, and binders that play music are a distraction for teachers and students.
- Some teachers send home a list of supplies for specific courses such as musical instruments, art kits, graphing calculators and sports equipment, so look for these items online where you can find deals for 50%, 60% and even 70% retail prices.
- Start by gathering pencils, paper, scissors and other items that are still in good condition and sitting around the house. Also, clean-out the closets and hand down clothing to younger siblings, but be sure to mix in fun new outfits too so they don’t feel left out.
- Look for bargains on name brands when quality counts. Getting a great deal on a cheap backpack isn’t so great when the zipper breaks in October. Name brand crayons, color pencils, markers, binders and dry erase supplies all tend to last longer.
- Buy in bulk at online stores like Costco or Walmart to save money this year and next, but be sure to send just the items needed to school saving the rest for future semesters.
- Once all supplies are purchased, organize and label them with each child’s name. This reduces the need to purchase additional school supplies later in the year.