The ABC’s of School Year on a Budget

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By Susan Heckler School supplies, uniforms, fall wardrobe, sports gear…YIKES the new school year is going to be expensive. How can you curb the price tag and bang those bucks? First thing you need to do is to take inventory! You certainly didn’t buy just enough last year and have some excess school supplies. You will be amazed at what you find that you don’t need to purchase again. Once done, follow the ABC’s of school supplies”

• AVOID impulsive purchasing

• BORROW from a friend or check out garage sales for expensive sports equipment. Invest when you know your child is serious.

• COUPONS are your friend.

• DON’T wait until the first day of school, buy now. You may have to fill in here and there but you don’t want to be waiting on lines for the basics and paying a premium.

• ENJOY free delivery PRICE SHOP, you don’t need to go personally, surf the web

• FOR goodness sake, think BULK. Office supply and big box wholesalers sell in boxed quantities that may be a good savings. If you don’t use the pencil this year, someone will use it next year.

• GROUP SHOP with friends and neighbors. Share in the bulk savings

• HAVE something useable? REUSE when possible, something like a 3 ringed binder may still be serviceable.

• INVEST in a good backpack; it will last a few years versus those with skimpier materials.

• JUST use what you have, Johnny has no use for that clipboard but Janie needs one this year RECYCLE

• KNOW that convenience stores are typically much more money

• LET it go, if you don’t need it immediately, wait until the prices drop after the rush is over

• MAKE sure to save receipts for returns

• NEVER let your kids shop for their own supplies until you know they are bargain conscience.

• OPEN packages only when you know it is what you need

• PUT things away where you will find them later, a special shelf or cabinet for supplies is best

• QUENCH their thirst with healthy choices of drinks and keep them cold for hot summer days

• REBATES require receipts and possible UPC symbols, keep in mind when unwrapping purchase

• SHOP sales for big ticket items early.

• TAKE note of what you need, MAKE A LIST

• UNDERSTAND what the future needs will be with big purchases like laptops and calculators

• VERIFY that you can’t make do with what you have

• WASTE not want not

• XEROX your list and split it up to save time

• ZOO week will be over soon