At the end of July it’s time to talk about Back to School tips. Plans are made for purchasing back to school supplies and back to school clothes. Preparation for boing back to school will happen in the months of August and September, also. Summer is ending. Cooler weather and fall foliage are taking shape in the month of September. Millions of school children are excited about returning to school and getting to work. Preparation for Kindergartners, on up to High School seniors, is a must.
Here are some back to school tips that will help with the transition from summer fun to getting serious about school work in preparation for securing your child’s future:
Children in Kindergarten - 5th grade
1. About a week before school starts, have your children go to bed at the time they will when school begins. Set their alarm or wake them up early. It is difficult for some kids to adjust to going to bed and getting up earlier after having an entire summer of sleeping in or staying up late. Many young children need to be on a schedule and preparing a week or so earlier will pay off.
Back to School shopping sales seem to start almost as soon as your kids leave school for the summer. For parents, these back to school sales are one of the best ways to save money and save big. Let's take a look at some the ways for you to realize savings as you prepare to send your children off to school.
1. Sales. Yes, Back to School sales are still real bargains for parents. The national retail chains such as, WalMart, Target, Sears, JC Penney, and Staples all run sales, as well as do the "pharmacy" chains including: CVS, Walgreens, and Eckerds. The former group of stores are great places to shop for clothing and bookbags while the latter group will feature cut rate school supplies.
2. Dollar Stores. Almost every town across America has the "one dollar" store where everything is, you guessed it, sold for one dollar. Many of these stores are hit or miss as far as what they carry or what they have available. Some items, even at a dollar, are much more expensive than those found "on sale" at regular retailers.
3. Close Outs. Your kids may protest, but the close out stores -- Odd Lots and Big Lots to name two -- will carry items your family can use. Sure, the clothing may be way out of style, but lunchboxes, pens, stationary, bookbags, and the like generally are not.
4. Hand Me Downs. Big bro or big sis may have articles of clothing or items they no longer use. If they are gently worn/used consider passing these things on to your younger kids.
5. Garage and Yard Sales. Your child's lunchbox or calculator may be found at your neighbor's sale instead of at a retailer. Expect prices to be 50-90% less than full retail.
6. Consignment Shops. Did someone say, Salvation Army? Okay, this is a bit of a stretch. Your kids will probably scream if you take them to a consignment shop, so you can go instead. More than likely what you buy will be for your personal use. Use the money saved to purchase the Nike shoes for your sophomore.
7. Tax Free Weeks. If you live in an area of high sales taxes on clothing, wait for a special "tax free week" to come around to save on purchases. New York City, for instance, is one of the cities with a tax free week. At 8.25%, this particularly high sales tax rate often causes residents to flee the city and drive to New Jersey where there is no tax on clothing. Save on gas, tolls, and time, as well as prop up your local economy by waiting for these special weeks.
There are other ways for you to save money on school supplies including shopping online or by buying in bulk. Back to School shopping should not mean back in debt provided you shop carefully and wisely.