I have so many back to school savings that I still want to share with you and since school starts for so many kids this week, I thought I’d share my top 10 back to school money saving tips for 2012 in one post here!
Whether you’re looking for the 2012 Tax Free Days or one of the many teacher discount events, I’ve got the top 10 tips I’ve come up with in my years of back to school shopping just for you:
1. Office Supply Store Extreme Deals: all the office supply stores (like Staples, Office Max & Office Depot) will be competing for your business in the coming weeks by offering a lot of freebies and penny deals, so you’ll want to stock up! Here are just a few things to keep in mind:
-Sign up for their free store rewards cards
-Teachers get a special rewards card and often get extra items beyond the limit (for example, 25 instead of 2 per customer at Staples)
-Be careful of extra purchase requirements – some may say “free”, but will require a minimum purchase or it will only be free after rewards from that store. Calculate the final cost before purchase!
2. Consider Investing in a Lifetime Guarantee
-While this may not seem like such a deal up front, knowing that you can spend money on a backpack now and never have to replace it is a smart buy! Places like Lands End & L.L.Bean offer exactly that.
3. Look for Added Value
-For example, Toys R Us is offering a free lunch bag with backpack purchase.
4. Shop all year long
-I know this doesn’t help you now, but be looking for deals on school supplies all throughout the year. Items you know you’ll need (like glue, pens, folders, markers, etc) will go on clearance several times throughout the year, so stock up when you can.
5. Teacher Appreciation Events
-Several retailers (like Banana Republic & Ann Taylor Loft) offer special teacher discounts or Rewards Cards (like mentioned above) ALL the time. Some will even hold teacher appreciation events before school starts (especially office supply stores…many of which will be this coming first weekend of August), so it never hurts to ask at your favorite store!
6. Mayor’s First Day Festival Transitions…
-in Nashville, The Mayor’s First Day festival transitions to the inaugural First Choice Festival, which is also free, and will take place Oct. 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at McGavock High School, 3150 McGavock Pike. Representatives from all public schools will be invited to share information about their programs and unique features in order to help families make informed decisions.
7. Tax Free Weekend
-TN Tax Free Weekend is this weekend: August 3-5, 2012. That means that clothing and school supply purchases $100 or less, as well as computers $1500 or less are all tax free!
8. Shop Consignment Sales for School Uniforms & Sports Gear
-Search consignment sales before school starts, especially for uniform essentials, shoes and sports gear
-WeeWares is a consignment sale going on this week, August 2-5, at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, with most items going half price on the 7th. (plus you’ll be helping out our family – we’re consigning there too!)
-With all these deals going on, please consider picking up extra supplies and donating them to a local school, shelter or ministry. There are also a lot of back-to-school drop offs going on right now that would love the extra help!
10. Ask Other Parents for Hand Me Downs
-Whether it’s passing down a textbook or uniforms that are now too small, one of the best places to get your school necessities at a steal are by asking other parents at your school! Many schools now even have their own Facebook page or private website where you can look for such things.
Last thing to consider: spend time comparing prices online before wasting gas driving around from store to store.
Better yet, shop online through sites like Ebates & Savings.com to get cash back on your purchases and take advantage of special coupon codes!
Watch my other Talk of the Town segments to find more great tips!