Maximize your back-to-school savings

Back to school costs are skyrocketing. Consider these tips to maximize your savings.

Sales of school supplies and uniforms are skyrocketing as preparations are made for the beginning of the new school year. It seems as though the back-to-school lists are endless and expensive. However, you can save by planning your purchases, comparison shopping and trading with friends and neighbors.

Get a copy of your child’s school supply list, and head to your child’s room before you go to the store. Find out what supplies are left from last year and what can be salvaged.

Hint: Last year’s supplies are probably still in last year’s backpack. Decide what you can reuse. Set it aside and cross it off of your list.

Check with friends or relatives who have children. You may be able to exchange school uniforms, books, or other school necessities. Perhaps your school’s parent organization has set up a uniform exchange program. Be on the look out for community organizations that host back-to-school fairs. Parents can receive free backpacks, school supplies, resources, and other invaluable information at these events.

Do not forget to go online to compare prices and shop. Look for low prices, coupons and promo codes for additional discounts. Free shipping and a liberal returns policy will sweeten your online deal. Use the sales circulars and coupons from your local retailers. Once inside of the stores, head for the clearance section to see what deals are there. Dollar stores, thrift stores and resale shops are additional locations where you can find bargains.

Health care costs will impact your back to school savings. Immunizations are a necessity for most children before starting the school year. Contact your local health department or school district to find out where your child can receive free or minimal cost immunizations.

Michigan State University Extension suggests that creating a plan-of-attack for your back-to-school list will help you maximize your back-to-school savings.

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