Back to School Shopping Without Breaking the Bank

Buying supplies, clothes, new backpacks and everything can really add up, especially when you have multiple kids in school.

Assuming that you’ve already raided the house for school supplies that can be recovered from years past, here are 10 tricks you can use when back-to-school shopping to save money and time.

1. Gift Cards

One savings hack that’s becoming popular among mothers; gift cards. If your kids want to rock the latest, name brand fashion, get them a gift card! This method saves money, teaches the kiddos how to budget, and gives them the freedom to choose exactly what they want, from where they want. Missouri Central Credit Union even offers gift cards that essentially work like a Visa so that it can be used anywhere.


2. The Internet is Your Friend

If you know your daughter refuses to shop anywhere but H&M or Forever 21, check online for deals; there’s a good chance you’ll find one!
Once the debit card runs out, you can do the rest of the shopping at less-expensive stores like Target and Walmart. Backpacks are starting at only $14.00 at Target and include a lunch bag and pencil pouch! That’s 3 items you can already check off! Target also has an online feature allowing the shopper to find their list by school, order the items online, and have them delivered to the house!


3. Wait on the ‘non-essentials’

If you’re on a tight budget or schedule, there are some things that can wait. It is unusual that you’ll need a protractor on the first day, but there’s a good chance it will be on your list.
Wait a week. Once the crowds have lessened and the first weeks of school are in session, the shelves will stock back up and there you’ll find that silly protractor that you were stressing about for two weeks.


4. The local dollar store.

Take your list for a quick run through the local dollar store. Things like Kleenex, No. 2 Pencils, highlighters, etc. can usually all be found there. If you leave the kids at home, they’ll never even know where they came from!


5. “But she’s picky.”

So your son wants Mizzou everything and your daughter thinks she’s Hello Kitty, that’s okay!

Here’s the trick: shop for basic colored folders and decorate them later. Stickers aren’t on the school supply list, but they’re always cheap, and won’t be out of stock! Add stickers to your list for maybe $2.00 and whoa, just like magic, your daughter has Hello Kitty themed everything!


6. Tax-Free Weekend

Tax-free weekend in Missouri is coming August 5-7th! For clothing, computers, and school supplies, take advantage of this! For more specific information on Missouri’s Tax-Free Weekend, check here.


7. Sunday & Monday Mornings

Many times, the shelves are restocked and the new sales begin on Sundays. Don’t shop on Saturday only to pick through bins to find the last of each item.

8. Got rewards?

Some of the places you frequent most may be the last places you’d expect to have the ‘deals’ on school supplies. Drugstores like CVS and Walgreens carry the misconception of having more expensive items. While this may be true to some, it isn’t when you have loads of rewards dollars. Make sure to check with your go-to drugstore for coupons on supplies!


9. Coupons

I’m sure you didn’t want to see this hack, but don’t worry, you don’t need to shuffle through the mail for this one. A lot of stores have loyalty text clubs that you can opt-in to for coupons! This means a coupon is sent directly to your phone and can be redeemed at the counter. Easy, huh!


10. Doubles

Buy in twos! While the entirety of this article was on saving money, you can also save your supplies! If you have the option to buy more than one item, DO IT and SAVE IT somewhere until you need it. It is almost guaranteed that you’ll either need that same item next year or, believe it or not, your kid may lose that new pair of scissors before they even need to use them!


Working new shoes and new supplies into the back-to-school budget doesn’t have to be frustrating anymore. To your kids, shopping is the best part about going back to school. Use these tips to save your money and your sanity!