The National Retail Federation states that $83.9 billion dollars were spent on back-to school expenses in the U.S. last year, averaging around $688 per person spent on their grades K-12 children.
Back to school supplies can certainly be expensive, but are a necessary cost. Your BBB has tips though, to help stretch your Back to School dollars.
First assess what you have to make an accurate list. Determine before you leave the house the condition of clothing, shoes and personal items, and then decide what is really of need. Also make a list for each child, but see what you may already have around the house, left over from the last school year, or items that can be reused between children. For items you purchase, assess the need for quality too. Buying higher quality in some items, like in backpacks, may make sense as they can last for years.
Create a budget and stick to the necessities. A quick on-line search can provide an idea on the amount needed for supplies. Note discount codes, rebates, and clip coupons now, to determine if you fall within budget. If you need to cut your list, now is the time, by deciding which items and by how much to cut.
Comparison shop and set up email alerts for the best deals around. Review local advertising pieces and look to the web for informed shoppers on blogs. Many will share deals they have found and where you can find coupons or rebates. Alerts from retailers will also help you know when items you need go on sale and when exclusive offers are provided.
Check with the retailer. Many stores offer special student or teacher discounts on select items or may provide discounts to move current product. The need for room on their shelves may provide the opportunity for incredible deals.
Look for tax-free sales dates. Some states offer tax-free holidays for back-to-school purchases. You can review the “2013 State Sales Tax Holidays” list to determine if your state participates.
For more information you can trust, visit evansville.bbb.org.