5 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

adult with children holding hands and crossing the street

The cost of this season preparing kids for school can add up quickly. With higher inflation, money does not go as far as it used to. Families are feeling these impacts firsthand when buying their students new clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies. To help avoid going into debt this summer from back-to-school shopping, consider these five cost-saving tips to get ahead of rising costs and avoid breaking the bank.

  1. Don’t buy double
    It’s easy to get carried away with back-to-school shopping. If you don’t already have a budget, now is the time to start one. But before you do anything, shop your house! Check if you have items you can reuse from previous school years. If not, write down exactly what you’ll need so you can stick to the list and on budget. Back-to-school shopping is a yearly expense until your kids graduate from high school and possibly even college. But you can prepare your family for this cost by building a spending and saving plan.
  2. Price match
    Several large retailers will honor price matches. If you see a lower price for the same item at another store, many retailers will match the competitor’s price. Stores have differing policies, so it is important to check each store’s policy closely. And remember, military families can always take advantage of the price-matching policy at the Army and Air Force Exchange (AAFES), the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX), Navy Exchange (NEX) and the Coast Guard Exchange.
  3. Compare and shop online
    Major retailers feature all kinds of discounts on products and services. You can also download the app to your favorite store or choose to sign up for regular email alerts. Set price alerts for any major items you have your eye on; this allows you to monitor price fluctuations and make your move when the price is right.
  4. Use a tax-free weekend
    Search online for when and if your state offers “tax-free shopping” or “state tax holiday.” They typically occur in late summer, just in time for back-to-school shopping. Avoiding sales tax is a fantastic way to save money on clothing and other supplies. If you live in a state that doesn’t sponsor a tax-free week or weekend, consider shopping in a nearby state that does. Don’t forget that the exchanges offer tax free shopping every day!
  5. Buy in bulk
    Sometimes buying in bulk can make a lot of financial sense. Shop at warehouse stores for bulk items you know your kids will need all year long like highlighters, notebooks, folders and pens.

Be money wise and make the start of the school year go smoothly for your military family with MilSpouse Money Mission, a free resource to educate and empower military spouses to make smart money moves. From saving for your children’s future to tackling the expenses of kids’ sports, we have actionable ideas to improve your financial know-how.

 

MilSpouse Money Mission® is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

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adult with children holding hands and crossing the street

The cost of this season preparing kids for school can add up quickly. With higher inflation, money does not go as far as it used to. Families are feeling these impacts firsthand when buying their students new clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies. To help avoid going into debt this summer from back-to-school shopping, consider these five cost-saving tips to get ahead of rising costs and avoid breaking the bank.

  1. Don’t buy double
    It’s easy to get carried away with back-to-school shopping. If you don’t already have a budget, now is the time to start one. But before you do anything, shop your house! Check if you have items you can reuse from previous school years. If not, write down exactly what you’ll need so you can stick to the list and on budget. Back-to-school shopping is a yearly expense until your kids graduate from high school and possibly even college. But you can prepare your family for this cost by building a spending and saving plan.
  2. Price match
    Several large retailers will honor price matches. If you see a lower price for the same item at another store, many retailers will match the competitor’s price. Stores have differing policies, so it is important to check each store’s policy closely. And remember, military families can always take advantage of the price-matching policy at the Army and Air Force Exchange (AAFES), the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX), Navy Exchange (NEX) and the Coast Guard Exchange.
  3. Compare and shop online
    Major retailers feature all kinds of discounts on products and services. You can also download the app to your favorite store or choose to sign up for regular email alerts. Set price alerts for any major items you have your eye on; this allows you to monitor price fluctuations and make your move when the price is right.
  4. Use a tax-free weekend
    Search online for when and if your state offers “tax-free shopping” or “state tax holiday.” They typically occur in late summer, just in time for back-to-school shopping. Avoiding sales tax is a fantastic way to save money on clothing and other supplies. If you live in a state that doesn’t sponsor a tax-free week or weekend, consider shopping in a nearby state that does. Don’t forget that the exchanges offer tax free shopping every day!
  5. Buy in bulk
    Sometimes buying in bulk can make a lot of financial sense. Shop at warehouse stores for bulk items you know your kids will need all year long like highlighters, notebooks, folders and pens.

Be money wise and make the start of the school year go smoothly for your military family with MilSpouse Money Mission, a free resource to educate and empower military spouses to make smart money moves. From saving for your children’s future to tackling the expenses of kids’ sports, we have actionable ideas to improve your financial know-how.

 

MilSpouse Money Mission® is a Department of Defense resource that offers FREE personal financial education specifically geared toward spouses. There is a Money Ready guide for various stages of financial life, a MilLife Milestones section to help you through the big moments in your military journey, a blog, spouse videos, quizzes, calculators and more!

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We are team of financial professionals who understand military life because we have experienced military life. Our goal is to educate and empower military spouses to help them make smart money moves. We combine passion and expertise to ensure you get the most accurate and relevant information. Take comfort knowing Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, an Accredited Financial Counselor® and the Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness have vetted the content on this site.
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