Inexpensive back-to-school shopping tips

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Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are some ways you and your family can save this year.

Back-to-school shopping can be expensive. New school supplies, clothing and accessories can add up quickly. But getting everything you need for the new school year doesn’t have to cost a lot. If you’re going back-to-school shopping, here are some inexpensive ways to get everything on your list:

  • Shop closets: see if your friends or family members may be willing to do a clothing swap with you so you can trade clothes and supplies.
  • Visit flea markets/yard sales: at flea markets and yard sales, you may find used accessories, school supplies and more for a bargain price.
  • Check out thrift stores: thrift or vintage stores may sell products you can’t find anywhere else for a low cost.
  • Look at flyers: flip through local store flyers and compare them for the best prices.
  • Browse for coupons: research online or in a community paper for coupons, loyalty cards and vouchers.
  • Use student discounts: some brands offer special pricing for students. Make sure you ask the cashier about any available discounts.
  • Try DIY: pick up a new hobby (sewing, crafting, etc.) to create your own, personalized back-to-school supplies. You can find many how-to and DIY videos online.
  • Reuse and recycle: rounding up some of last year’s school supplies, clothing and accessories can help you save money (and time) this year.
  • Buy in bulk: if you’re purchasing items you use a lot (pens, paper, etc.) you could try buying in bulk. (Just be sure to price check and compare costs first.)
  • Remember less is more: when it comes to back-to-school shopping, try to remember that less is more. You can always pick up additional items later if you need them.
  • Save up: try setting aside some money from your allowance or job throughout the year to cover back-to-school expenses.
  • Define a budget: set yourself a realistic budget and stick to it. Ask yourself if you really need — or just want — the items in your shopping cart.
  • Spread it out: you don’t have to do all of your back-to-school shopping at once. Try picking up a few things here and there during the summer.

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t always have to cost a lot. Budget, reuse and recycle – it can help you save money (and the environment).