SS STYLE + SHOPPING
Making the Gr de WHETHER YOU RELISH OR DREAD THIS TIME OF YEAR, GET AN A+ IN BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING WITH OUR TIPS TO HELP BUDGET AND BUY SUPPLIES AND CLOTHES AS YOU OR YOUR CHILDREN HEAD BACK TO THE CLASSROOM. BY RYANN GORDON The best part about school returning is getting to revamp our closets and embrace our inner geek with the coolest supplies and gadgets around. Backto-school shopping is one of those pasttimes that we’ve always been excited to look forward to … for the young ones, that is. However, for those of us who spend our own money on back-to-school gear for either ourselves or children, it can be a stressful time of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $673.57 on apparel and accessories, electronics, shoes and school supplies adding up to $27.3 billion. College students and families with children in college plan to spend an average of $888.71. Whether it’s laptops for class or mini-fridges for the dorm, college simply costs more than the lower grades. Some of these big-ticket items can last all four years, but when they need to be replaced, it’s a bigger investment than pencils and lunchboxes. Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be a struggle, and you most certainly do not have to break the bank. Many parents are taking advantage of shopping early, scouring ads and websites for the best deals, and taking advantage of free shipping with online purchases. From nonprofits, timing, coupons, prioritizing, making lists, utilizing your resources and choosing wisely where to shop, we’ve got the best tricks and local deals that’ll make back-to-school shopping a breeze.
56 AUGUST 2017
TIMING IS KEY
Don’t get too eager. Planning your shopping at just the right time could save you hundreds on school supplies and clothes. This year, the tax-free weekend is scheduled for Aug. 4-6. Qualifying shoes and clothing will be exempt from state, county, city and local sales tax starting at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 4 until midnight Aug. 6. You can purchase an unlimited number of qualifying tax-free items during this time.
Never go into a store emptyhanded. Heading to your local Walmart or Target without a list could be a sure path to disaster. Try to wait until your school supply list is out so that you don’t overdo it with extra items you don’t necessarily need. Rather than ending up with five extra binders and notebooks, and endless boxes of pens that may never be opened, set your list in stone and check off the materials you already have at home. When you go into the store, you’ll have a clear vision of what you do and don’t absolutely need, making more room for the extra items you really just want.
Also, try to stay informed on all of your favorite stores’ daily deals as well, making sure to drop in on select days when the materials you need drop in price. Hold on to all receipts and keep checking prices on the items you’ve purchased — some stores will reimburse you if the price drops after you’ve purchased an item.
KE A LIST
HAVE A TRY-ON D
The children may not be too excited, but have them try on everything in their drawers
and closet to take stock of what’s actually needed. Make a pile of keepers and one for the outgrown stuff. This is a great place to start because you’ll need to know what size they’re in before you head out to shop. And it will also give you and your child an opportunity to talk about what styles they no longer love, so you can avoid those if you’re shopping without them.
CHOOSE YOUR M RKET Be skeptical of where you do your shopping. Places like Target, Walgreens and CVS tend to run a bit higher than Walmart, which now has a price-matching system. Check the ads and compare prices before you head into the war zone and be sure to check online retailers like eBay and Amazon. You can also find
Published on Jul 24, 2017
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