4 ways to save when back-to-school shopping - HMS National, Inc.

4 ways to save when back-to-school shopping

August 1, 2014

As hard as it may be to believe, the summer vacation period is nearly over and the back-to-school season is in full swing. This year, as kids determine what the latest styles and fashions trends are, parents and students will be spending a pretty penny both for school supplies and clothing.

Consumers are expected to spend an average of nearly $550 on back-to-school items this year, according to a recent study done by Deloitte, a financial advisory company. And among college students, it's more than double that amount at close to $1,225.

What's a cost-conscious consumer to do? These tips should help you buy the things you need for school on a budget.

1. Set a price point - and stick to it. Before you begin shopping, it's a good idea to take stock of your current financial situation. Figure out how much you can reasonably afford to spend on back-to-school items. Once you've determined the maximum amount, make sure that you hold to it, resisting the urge to splurge on things that catch your attention.

2. Do an inventory. Frequently, schools will supply parents and college students with an idea of what they should be sure to have on the first day of school. But if you or your child was a student last year, they may have many of the things that teachers recommend, such as unused pencils, pens, notebooks and notepads.

3. Take advantage of sales. With a brand new line of products for autumn, you're guaranteed to find that a favorite retailer is having an end-of-summer sale, where many clothes that are worn year round are marked down substantially. Keep an eye on any circulars that advertise when these sales events are taking place. You may want to join your one or several clothing company's email list so you'll be sure to be the first to know when they're going on.

4. Make out a list. You never really know what back-to-school clothing items you need to buy if you don't take stock of what you have. If you're a parent and your child is growing, the jeans that they wore last year may be too small. Once they've tried on the clothing that they have, jot down what you need to buy and how many. This will help serve as a guideline once you're in stores. Just as you would for your budget, make sure you stick to it. 

Parenting.com has some other back-to-school savings tips that should help.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.