Getting ready to go back to school? Families are expected to spend more this summer than last year on school supplies. The average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $673.57 on apparel, shoes, electronics and supplies according to the National Retail Federation. That's up 9.6 percent from $630.36 last year.
Of course, not everyone will spend that much, but before you dive into buying new clothes and supplies, check out these back-to-school budget tips from BBB:
Do a Home Inventory List. You may already own many of the items.
Make a shopping list. Even if you don’t know the exact school supply list, you should get an idea of school clothing and other basic school needs. Beware of impulse buying.
Create a budget. Go to the Internet and sign up for sales alerts from your favorite stores. Consider buying basic supplies (like notebooks, folders and pencils) at discount stores, such as the dollar store. Watch the ads for coupons and don’t forget to check price matching policies.
Review advertisements. Review ads for restrictions on quantities and dates for sale and return policies. When online shopping, read the fine print for return and exchange policies and take advantage of free shipping specials.
Network with other parents. Seek out or host a clothing swap online or in your neighborhood; this can be a great way to recycle your gently used items and save money on the things you need this year. Also, research the potential savings of buying school supplies in bulk and splitting the cost with other parents in your area.
Take advantage of discounts. Many stores offer student and teacher discounts on hot items like laptops and uniforms. Retailers will be trying to make room for fall fashion and the newest models, so there are incredible savings to be had on older items.
For an online version of the story and for “teen tips” go to bbb.org/wisconsin
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