Back-to-School Shopping Thrifty Mom Style
YES! It is that time already. Stores are starting their back-to-school sales earlier than ever this year. This is probably due to a slow July, but it will definitely work out to your advantage if you play it right. There are a few things to keep in mind when you back-to-school shopping this year.

1. Take inventory ~ This is a great time to clean out closets, pantries, and desks. See what you already have and make a list. I did this last week and discovered hundreds of pens and pencils! You don’t want to buy more supplies than you will be able to use.

2. Make a list.…and stick to it ~ Many schools have not yet released their school supplies lists, but there are a few basics you know your child will need every year. Go ahead and buy notebooks, pencils, pens, scissors, glue, loose leaf paper, and crayons when you find them on sale. Chances are your child will need an abundance of these items for the upcoming school year. Even if they don’t you’ll be able to use them around the house!

3. Start early ~ NOW is the time to start looking for these items. Just this past weekend, Staples had a 1¢ sale on back to school items! Pick the items up as you see them going on sale.

4. Separate wants from needs ~ Decide what your child needs and stick to it. Chances are that their teacher doesn’t really want them to have the sparkly pens and pencils they want anyway. Simply buy the basics. Anything outside of the “norm” is just a distraction in class and will usually cost you double or triple what the toned down version costs.

5. Stock up on the basics ~ You know that your child will need lots of paper, pencils, pens, and glue. Stock up on these items for the year when you find a great price!  They will need these again mid-year and they will not be so inexpensive then.

6. Decide when quality beats quantity ~ Watch for name brand pens, pencils, and crayons to go on sale. A leaky pen or a pencil whose lead constantly falls out will end up costing you in the long run. These are items that I don’t compromise with on quality.

7. USE COUPONS ~ I can’t emphasize this enough! I was able to score enough pens, pencils, and notebooks for the entire year for pennies last year. Be sure to check out online coupon sites for great printable coupons.

8. Know your state’s tax free holiday!  Here in Louisiana it will be August 5-6.  You can find out more about the Louisiana tax-free holiday HERE!

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