With the start of a new school year just around the corner, parents across the country are starting to think about back-to-school shopping and making sure their kids are prepared for their first day back. However, as prices all around us keep climbing, many moms and dads may be worrying about what this will mean for their back to school budget.
According to Statistics Canada, the consumer price index is up 1.3 per cent from this time last year and I think we can all feel it — especially when we look at our grocery bills. A recent report from Consolidated Credit found that Canadians spend an average of $108 per child on back to school supplies, but I have a few tips that can help you save some money this September!
Also read: 5 Tips for Students Trying to Afford University>
Here are a few ways you can beat rising back-to-school costs:
Back to School Shopping Tips
Take inventory. Look around your house and gather up all of the school supplies that may be lurking in drawers and cupboards. You might find that you have more than enough lined paper, pencils, and highlighters to last a lifetime!
If it ain’t broke, don’t buy a new one. Just because it’s a new school year, doesn’t mean you need to splurge on a new backpack, lunchbag, pencil case, and binders. If these items held up well the year before and are still in good repair, there’s no sense in letting them go to waste.
Stick to the list. If your child’s school sends home a list of items you need to purchase, shop only for those items. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the fun gadgets and stationary items that your kids might want, but if it’s not necessary and you’re trying to stick to your budget, don’t go overboard. Also, don’t forget to bring the list when you go shopping!
Play the waiting game. Don’t feel like you need to rush out and buy everything the day before school starts in a frenzy to be as prepared as you can be. Most items can wait until later that week or over the weekend when items start to drop in price. Waiting for back to school sales is a great way to save a few bucks this back to school season and you’ll be glad you missed out on the crowds!
Shop around online. Browse through online flyer, coupon sites, Amazon, and other comparison sites when you’re on the hunt for bigger ticket items. You might find a deal!
Swap it. Call up a few friends or reach out to other parents at your child’s school and offer to host a back to school swap. Get everyone to bring along clothing and school supplies that you can trade back and forth. If there are leftovers at the end of the day, you can donate them to a local charity.
Shop together. Take advantages of buying in bulk by shopping with a few parent friends this year! If you all need to buy two packs of pencils, save by buying a case instead of divvying up the price. Asking a few friends to come along on your shopping trip, or to let you know what they need, can be a great way to save instead of purchasing each item individually. Follow the tips above and this year’s back to school shopping budget will be able to stretch a little further than before. The money you save on school supplies can now go toward things like extracurriculars and school trips!
Wishing you a safe and happy September!