Updated on July 28, 2021
Preparing for the start of the school year can be an exciting time for you and your kids, but not for your budget. Going the extra mile to plan ahead of time and find deals can have a big impact on how much you spend on back-to-school shopping. The tips below can help you zero in on the best buys.
1. Stick to a List
Before you begin shopping, make a list of everything that’s needed for the upcoming school year. Be sure to make note of what items you already have and don’t need to repurchase, or what items you can borrow from friends and family to help reduce your expenses. Next, determine how much you’ll need to spend on necessities, and work the amount into your budget.
2. Follow Your Favorite Brands
Leading up to the beginning of the school year, most retailers begin to send out coupons and sales ads. Sign up to be included on your favorite stores’ email lists so you get extra coupons and special offers. Follow them on social media and download their app to learn about promotional events. Just keep your original list in mind when you find new deals – you don’t want to splurge on items you don’t need just because they’re a good price.
3. Shop Seasonal Sales
Since summer’s still in the air when the school year begins, your kids won’t be wearing long sleeves or big coats anytime soon. Look for items that can be worn over multiple seasons, such as t-shirts that can be layered with a cardigan, lightweight leggings, or casual sneakers that can be worn with both shorts or jeans. Many of these items can be purchased during end-of-summer sales.
4. Visit Coupon Sites and Blogs
Before hitting the stores, check out online coupon sites like RetailMeNot® and Groupon® for discounts. These sites offer hundreds of coupons and provide printable or downloadable coupons that you can use. Search for blogs that provide tips on where to find the best deals that week, combining coupons, and general ways to save.
5. Buy Online
Some brands have online-only promotions, offering more savings if you purchase items online instead of in-store. You may also be able to have your purchase shipped to the store so that you can pick it up yourself and save on shipping. Check out your favorite retailer’s website to see if there are better sales online than in-store – they may also have a wider selection and additional options not available at your local brick-and-mortar. Just make sure you’re familiar with shopping costs and return policies. If you have to pay a hefty delivery charge and there isn’t a ship-to-store option, it may cancel out the money you thought you were saving. And if you’re not able to return what you purchased, you could end up stuck with unwanted items.
In addition to planning for the school year, you’ll want to plan for your child’s financial future, too. With our youth accounts, you can watch their money grow with our special youth savings rate – children under age 18 qualify for a 1.00%* Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on savings account balances of up to $500.
*APY denotes Annual Percentage Yield. To be eligible for the Youth Savings rate, the primary account owner must be under the age of 18. All eligible Regular share accounts earn 1.00% APY on the first $500 in the account. Any remaining balance above $500 will earn dividends at our current Regular share rate. Rates and information are subject to change at any time. Fees could reduce earnings on the account(s). The disclosed dividend rates are variable and may change after the member opens the account(s). Find our current dividend rates at psecu.com/rates. PSECU requires a $5 minimum balance to open and maintain a Regular share account. This $5 share account deposit is also required to be eligible to receive the Youth Savings rate, and the member must be in good standing as defined by PSECU’s Bylaws, Article II, Section I. PSECU will make a $5 minimum share purchase on behalf of the member.