It’s that time of year again when the kids need new clothes and school supplies. While it’s inevitable that you will have to spend that money, it is possible to keep those expenses to a minimum. Here are a few ideas to keep your costs under control:
Buy Used – In many cases, children grow out of their clothes very quickly leaving their clothes in great condition to pass on to others. Before you rush to the store, check the Facebook marketplace, Craigs list and the local Goodwill or thrift shop. You may be surprised to find some great quality clothes or equipment that you couldn’t afford to buy new.
Shop at the Dollar Store – When it comes to buying school supplies, taking some time to shop for the best deal can pay off. While major retailers do have sales, sometimes the dollar store is the best deal. If you can’t afford any school supplies, be sure to sign up to be a recipient in a local school supply drive distribution.
Buy in Bulk – If you find a good deal on basic items that are needed every year like pens, pencils, papers and folders, be sure to buy more than you need and save some for the next year. While it may be hard to come up with the money right now, look for something else you can cut out now or start saving in advance to make this possible.
Don’t Buy Everything Now – It’s tempting to try to buy everything you need before school starts, but in some cases waiting can pay off. You may be able to find a coupon later or take advantage of a big sale. Plus spreading out the expenses over several months can make it easier to stay on your budget and avoid going into debt.
Buy Quality – It may seem counterintuitive to buy quality items that cost more money, but in some cases, it makes sense. For example, paper folders may be really cheap but they tend to fall apart mid-year. Instead, try buying a higher-end heavy duty plastic folder that can last several years.
Check for Discounts or Rewards Programs on Store Apps – These days, most major retailers have apps that shoppers can use to find coupons and special deals. Be sure to check your app store to see if your favorite store has an app before you head out to the store.
Take Advantage of Rewards Programs – If you use certain credit or debit cards, you can earn points or rewards throughout the year and then use them when purchasing school supplies. To learn more about Select FCU’s uChoose Reward program, give us a call at (210) 223-6561.