Shop with a budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend and set specific amounts for different categories such as clothing and supplies. Having a budget will help you stay focused and avoid impulse purchases.
Take inventory: Before hitting the stores, inventory what you already have at home. Check your kids' closets, drawers and study areas for supplies and clothing that can be reused or repurposed for the coming school year. This will give you a clear idea of what you really need to buy.
Plan ahead: Start shopping early and take advantage of sales throughout the summer. Watch for clearance sales, promotions and discounts. By planning ahead, you can secure better deals and avoid the rush and price hikes closer to the start of the school year.
Buy generic: Don't hesitate to reach for generic brands when purchasing school supplies for your kids. Store brands are usually cheaper than name brands without compromising on quality.
Shop without your kids: Shopping with kids is an easy budget-killer. Kids have their own ideas of what's best to spend money on, and their opinions may not align with your budget. Leave your kids at home for at least some of your shopping trips this season.
Use discounts and coupons: Before you shop, look for coupons, promotional codes and student discounts to bring down the prices of the items you need to buy.
Buy in bulk: Whenever appropriate, buy supplies in bulk. This is useful for items that are commonly used throughout the school year. Buying in bulk often comes with a lower per-unit cost, providing long-term savings.
Follow the tips outlined here to beat inflation and save on back-to-school shopping.