Ah, that time again.
Books, pencils, folders, clothes, new shoes, haircuts . . . and an open wallet.
Before my children were school age I didn’t get the number of expenses associated with back to school. Now, sadly, my bank account and I understand.
If you think heading back to school is not a costly endeavor, take a look at this statistic from IBISWorld: last year, consumers spent $20.42 on the supplies that go into heading back to school.
IBISWorld looked at the four categories that most spending falls into:
- Traditional School Supplies
Parents/caregivers spent an average of $366.28 on each child last year; this year that number will probably be closer to $353.51.
George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBISWorld, says, “Parents will inevitably put more thought and less dollars into their back-to-school shopping strategies.
The largest decline will most likely come from the clothing category, with an expected 5.4% drop, with parents spending about $137 on dressing each child.
So what are some tips for saving money as your child heads back for a new school year?
- Shop dollar stores. You can find a wide variety of tools at these places, BUT
- Compare prices to sale items at stores like Rite-Aid and Walgreens, which will often run a better deal (I bought a $1 notebook at the dollar store recently and found it for $.25 at Walmart a few days later!)
- Purchase clothes at second hand stores. Between living green and saving money, these shops have become all the rage in many areas. They carry gently used clothes for deep discounts, and you can often find name brands as well.
- Watch the Sunday flyers. If you are in the market for electronics such as calculators and personal laptops, you might be able to find a great sale combined with coupons or rebates.
- Check out online shopping like Amazon, which often offers free shipping and bottom line prices.
- Consider swapping clothing and shoe items with friends. In our area we have a large group of moms with children close to the same age. If their children have outgrown clothes, chances are a swap can be made so everyone remains clothed – for free!