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The Savvy Shopper's Guide to “Back to School” Shopping: A Tight Budget

August 24, 2018 | By Daniel Dewitt

Education is expensive. Don’t get us wrong: it’s a valuable investment in the future. But it is expensive, even for something as simple as “Back to School”. Worse, if you’re shopping for your kids you’ll most likely have to multiply that cost by at least two or three if not four.

Luckily, we’re here today to walk you through the best way to stay in budget while also ensuring you pick up everything you or your kids need to get the education they deserve. And if that isn’t enough, think about taking out payday loans. Fast, simple, convenient: and payday loans can get you up to $255.

Reuse What You Already Have

While it can be tempting to go out and buy all new school equipment, if you’re determined to stay in your budget then you need to resist it. Instead of going to the store and throwing into your cart anything you see, instead, draw up a list of the supplies you need, and then scrounge around to see if you can find any leftovers from the previous semester.

Especially if you have kids, then often you can take advantage of the previous year’s supplies from the older ones to pass down to the younger ones: backpacks that no longer fit the older ones, textbooks for the same classes, even school uniforms.

Shop Used

If you don’t have old school supplies lying around the house, then you still shouldn’t just go to the store to buy everything you need brand new. Instead, make the most of your local thrift stores and consignment shops. The quality of what you’ll find in them will vary from ok to great, and will invariably be cheaper than shopping new.

Especially when it comes to textbooks, you can save a small fortune shopping at used bookstores or online. The textbook industry is one of the most lucrative in publishing because they have such a cornered market (students have to get the textbooks their professors assign), and so can charge ludicrous amounts for new textbooks. Buying used is the most effective way of getting around them.

If You Do Have to Buy, Buy Big

This point can seem like it contradicts the others, but it’s really just a matter of planning ahead. If you do have to buy new supplies, then it sometimes behooves you to buy in bulk, especially if it’s an item you’ll need a lot of. After all, there’s no point in buying pencils one at a time.

Buying in bulk is often cheaper than buying individually and will save you money in the long term. It’s a bit of an investment, but you’ll often be glad mid-semester when you don’t have to go buy a new notebook.