It’s that time of year again, the sweet smell of freedom hangs thick in the air.
Pool toys are going back in the shed. Beach towels are going back in the linen closet. And the LEGOS are finally getting placed — bit by bit — back in the toy box.
It’s so close you can almost smell it. That’s right, school is about to start.
Here are some ways you can save money this fall while getting your kids ready to tackle another year of homework:
1. Buy in bulk
Why buy writing utensils and paper one pack at a time when you’re just going to have to replace them in a month? Buying in bulk will lower your bottom line and keep your kid from being the only one in class without a pencil come pop-quiz time. Consider online options if you can’t brave the choppy seas of Costco or Sam’s Club.
2. Take advantage of student discounts
It may seem like just a marketing ploy, but a ton of retailers offer hefty student discounts on big ticket items like software packages, laptops and tablets. Oh, don’t forget those printers! I think the people at Hewlett put their kids through college with the amount I spent on ink refills in high school. Make sure to check brand-specific websites for deals as well. Buying straight from the horse’s mouth can oftentimes be much cheaper than going to a big box retailer.
3. Head to the outlet malls
Your kids probably call it “the weird mall,” but you know what? You’re spending the money and they’ll wear what you give them. Either way, outlet malls are great. Clothing and shoes can be a massive expense, and dialing back the clock to last season can mean savings of up to 80 percent on name brand clothing. Besides, if your kid is anything like I was, those clothes aren’t going to make it through the year, so why not save where you can?
4. Scour the Internet
Between eBay, Amazon, Overstock, Craigslist, and the rest of the shopping options online, if you can’t find a good deal, you’re doing something wrong. When shopping eBay, keep your eyes peeled for sellers offering free shipping. Same goes for Amazon. Books can be absurdly overpriced when buying new, so don’t. Plus it’s always more fun to open up a textbook and see notes already taken in the margins, and honestly there’s nothing wrong with having had someone else separate the wheat from the chaff.
These are just a few options out there to save some cash after what I’m sure was an action-packed summer.
It can be stressful, it can be rough, but just remember, it’s almost over.
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