Back to School Shopping Demystified

Whether you are a parent or a student, back to school time can be incredibly stressful. New clothes, new supplies, new everything…the costs can add up FAST! However, it does not have to be this way. A lot of stores offer exclusive back to school offers sometime in August, so as long as you hold tight to your common sense, flyers, and patience, you’ll be fine come September. A few simple tricks can ensure you go back with the newest supplies, coolest clothes, and cash in your pocket.

It may take a little digging, but I’m sure you’ve kept most of the leftover supplies from the past school year. If they are still in good condition (pens have ink, erasers not terribly dirty, binders not too shredded…), consider reusing them. Yes, they’re not the fad right now, but fads return; and wouldn’t you feel better toting around your slightly beaten up lucky binder than a teensy ‘stylish’ thing that doesn’t close properly? Same goes for clothes. Most of your wardrobe can be worn again this year. If you’re desperate for new clothes, you can look up instructions to deconstruct and upcycle some of your older pieces.

We all know that flyers are a pain; after all, no one likes the colourful, but worthless junk mail stuffed into their boxes. However, before you throw them out, look them over for any deals or coupons on back to school essentials. The right store can save you a lot of cash. Flyers are great for comparing prices, as well as giving you an overview of all of the items the store has in stock from the comfort of your own home. Even better, a lot of stores have price match, so if you find a lower price in a competing store’s flyer, they will lower the price for you!

Most important of all, be patient. There is a small, but significant window in mid to late August, where everything will be heavily marked down. Therefore, doing your shopping early might not be beneficial to your wallet, even though there may be better selection. However, don’t wait too long. Usually, the minute mid September rolls around, the deals are gone, or all the good merchandise is.

Back to school is a very exciting time. You see your friends again, with brand new things to show off. As exciting as shopping for it may be, keep in mind that school is primarily for learning, and isn’t a venue for bragging about your stylish designer clothes or your new binder. It’s okay if you don’t have the ‘coolest’ things. Just be comfortable with and grateful for what you do have, and you can’t go wrong.

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