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How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping

Back to school written blackboard green board,MoneySmart Family System book from Thomas Nelson for christian kids chores and allowance

Back to School shopping season is one of our family’s favorite times of year!

There’s just something about opening a new box of crayons that brings a smile to my face.

But you know that I’m not going to do any back to school shopping that doesn’t also involve some version of savings too!

In fact, I especially love back to school sales because I can find such great deals on things that go beyond this time of year, such as cleaning products or even Christmas donations.

With that in mind, this is a great time to stock up on many necessities at great prices. So here are just a few tips to make sure you’re getting the BEST back to school shopping deals possible!

Back to School Shopping and Savings Tips

1. Tax-Free Back to School Shopping Weekends

Many states offer tax-free weekends to coincide with back to school shopping. Check with your state’s website to see when and if they offer a tax-free weekend. Typically, these happen soon (it’s this weekend for us here in TN) and will allow you to make tax-free clothing and supply purchases up to $100 and even bigger tax savings on items like computers.

2. Teacher Discounts

Several retailers offer special teacher discounts or even teacher Rewards Cards 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 always ask if this is the case at your favorite store. Keep in mind, many of these stores consider homeschooling moms teachers too!

3. Look for “Penny Deals”

Many stores, particularly drugstores and office supply stores, will offer ‘Extreme Deals’ and ‘Penny Deals’ in hopes of attracting you into the store and then banking on the fact that you’ll spend more money there. If you stay focused on just going in and grabbing those deals, you’ll be able to cross a ton of items off your school supply list at a fraction of their regular price!

4. Shop and Sell at Consignment Sales

I’ve been a long-time fan of consignment sales, both to make extra cash for our family as well as to find back to school necessities like uniform shorts, belts and the like. Because kids grow so quickly, you can often find quality, gently-worn items at 70% off retail prices. And when you’re a consignor, you also get to be one of the first ones to shop the sale! (Though I often prefer to wait until the last day when things go half-price).

5. Ask Friends for Hand-Me-Downs

If you can find friends with kids a little older than yours AND a little younger than yours, you can set up a great system of sharing your kids’ clothes once they’ve grown out of them. This is especially helpful if you go to a school where specific uniforms are required. Just remember the Golden Rule in these situations: Do to others as you would have them do unto you….or translated into back to school language: don’t give to others what you wouldn’t want given to you!

6. Shop Online

If you already have a brand you know and love, then why not shop online? You’ll not only save gas, but you can usually find great discount codes (I have a whole page dedicated to online coupon codes on my blog) and can often qualify for free shipping this time of year. In fact, some sites even pay you cash back when you shop with them. Just be sure you clearly understand their return policy before hitting that purchase button.

As much as I thought I knew EVERYTHING there is to know about saving money, I learned SO much from the MoneySmart Family System. Not only do they give first-hand advice as parents of four grown children, but they also provide valuable tools to help you and your children put that advice into practice.

You also don’t want to miss the Back to School Sale happening right now in the FaithGateway Store – save 40% off children’s books and Bibles!

Your Turn

What are your favorite ways to save on your family’s back to school shopping?

Photo by: LUNAMARINA (