Back to school time can be as expensive as Christmas shopping these days! There are the backpacks, the laptops, the fancy calculators, and then there are all the paper, pens, highlighters, and other things that you can never have enough of.
With eight kids who I homeschool, I feel like an office supply store just so I have what I need on hand.
With limited finances, unless you’re luckier than I am, it’s a matter of knowing how to save money on the things you need.
And lucky for you, I can tell you what I know.
Here are the back to school money saving hacks that will save you a ton of money.
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Take an inventory of what you already have
There is nothing worse than stocking up on things you thought you were out of only to discover that you already have more than you actually need. Make sure you check with your kids to make sure you’re including their stash into your list.
Check out the deals on deal websites
Deal sites like Hip2Save.com start posting back to school deals every week starting in mid-July. Check these out every week. In most cases, many of the supplies that you need will be featured at awesome prices at least once during the back to school shopping frenzy.
Create and shop with a detailed list
Now that you know what you need, you can start your shopping, but you are more likely to have a financially successful trip if you have a detailed list. When you know what you’re looking for, you get the right thing. Then, you don’t pick up anything extra along the way.
Take advantage of free with rebate deals at various stores
Many of the deals you find on the deal sites will be free with rebate sales. While you are putting the money out for these things initially, you will get it back later on. Sometimes saving money means having patience, but these deals are an awesome way to get what you need for super cheap or even free.
Learn about how each rebate program works and when your rebates will expire
Each store’s programs work a bit differently with their rebate programs. For this reason, learn about how each rebate program works. Sometimes your rebates are emailed or sent to you automatically, and sometimes you need to actually apply for your rebates.
I find it is often easiest just to ask right at the store. The employees are usually more than happy to explain just what you need to do. And then, you can ask questions right then and there.
Be organized with your rebates and savings so they don’t expire
Once you know how the rebates work, you need to make sure you actually use them. They all expire at one point or another, so you need to have an organized way to keep these expiration dates and certificates or reward cards straight.
I find it works best to keep the actual rewards certificates right in my purse in a coupon sorter. But, I also write the expiration dates right in my planner so I don’t forget to use them.
There is nothing worse than realizing you’ve let rebates expire. It’s the same as throwing your money away.
Be smart & stick to your budget
Make sure that the money you spend on school supplies you actually have to spend on school supplies. It is especially easy to get carried away on all the free stuff you can grab and spend more than you can actually afford in your budget.
This is especially true with rebates when you are spending the money initially.
Make sure you’re only spending money you have to spend and that the things you’re buying are things you really need.
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