I mentioned in my Safeway Deals post HERE that I love Back-to-School time because I can get free granola bars, but there are SO MANY ways to save money this time of year!
Here are ten tips for saving money during the Back-to-School Season:
1) START EARLY! I'm not talking just a few months here, either. My daughter won't go to school for a while, but I have started looking around for things I can get for FREE now so I don't have to pay for them later. The things offered for FREE or cheap fluctuate during the year, so you can get quite a lot of things in a year's time...or even 6 months!
2) Start watching all the ads in the Sunday paper leading up to the beginning of school. Many of the office supply stores are in competition during this time, which means GREAT things for you! I think Staples has the best deals, and their EASY rebate program really is easy :) I've gotten several rebate checks from them in the past from items that were FREE after rebate.
3) GARAGE SALES! I have seen SO many school supplies at garage sales lately. A few stops could just save you a lot of money!
4) Clipping Coupons! There are tons of coupons for back-to-school items right now! Especially check out the stores that allow you to stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons to save the most (Walgreen's, Target, etc.)
5) Enter Giveaways! What? How does that help? I've seen numerous giveaways for Back-to-School items right now...some of them are almost complete sets of what you will probably need for your kids! Some of the giveaways on the Low Entry Lowdown right now are a part of some Back to School Giveaway Bashes...check them out HERE!
6) Shop Online! Shopping online does not always mean buying online! I like to compare prices when I can by looking online first instead of driving all over town. If you have a Sam's Club or Costco membership, it's always a good idea to check their prices before you buy. If you can get below their prices, you've usually got a pretty good deal!
7) Think outside of Target & Walmart! Many parents simply do all of their shopping at Target or Walmart, which isn't always the best idea! Yes, they have low prices, but you can often beat those prices too. Check it out before you shop.
8) Don't be afraid to drive around after you've checked out the prices online...it might just save you money! Try to make wise decisions about the best use of your money (and gas!). If you can get something for FREE at a different store than the one where you'll buy the bulk of your items and the store is on the way to a place you frequent, you could save yourself a lot of money with a quick trip inside!
9) Check out blogs for Money-Saving Tips! Some of the bloggers out there have been doing this for years, and they KNOW how to save money on Back-to-School. They have tips that you wouldn't dream of on your own.
10) Google It! Back-to-School is a hot topic right now! Set up a Google Alert for Back-to-School savings, and you'll get an email in your inbox every day with different sites covering the topic. You never know what you might find :)
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.