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It’s back to school time which means it’s back to school shopping time for parents and students. With the rough economic times families and students are looking for ways to save on back to school shopping, well here are 8 tips to help you with saving money on back to school shopping.

1. Check your home school supplies inventory first
There is a very good likelihood that you still have supplies remaining from previous year, especially if you have more than one child in school. So make sure you first check your inventory to see what you already have.

2. Write a shopping list (specific list)
After you have determined what is in your current inventory, make a list of what you need. Be specific! Because if you are not you will buy things that are not really needed. Try to have the list as detailed as possible to avoid purchasing unnecessary items.

Back to School Money Saving Tips

3. Stick to what is Needed
Stick to your list! Your kids will try to convince you that they have to have a certain item when they see it, if you already have the final list and the item is not on it you can easily explain to your kids that it is not really needed. Even better make the list with your child, that way they will be involved in the whole process and can not “forget” things.

4. Budget and Set Limits
Set a fixed budget on how much you will be spending on back to school items and make sure your child is aware of this. As you put things in the cart repeatedly let your kid(s) know how much of the budget is left.

5. Find Coupons
Often parents throw away fliers they receive at home and miss out on some great coupons and sales, so keep those fliers! You can make it more fun by letting the kids cut out the coupons they need, this will save you not only money but also time (and teaches your kids an important lesson).

6. Don’t stop shopping
Continue back to school shopping throughout the year, often we miss some great bargains throughout the year because we do not think of school shopping. Keep an eye out for sale items and bargains in the “off-season” and when you find something buy it and put it away for next year.

7. Super Discount Stores
Do not forget discount stores like Wal-Mart and even Dollar Store, you can save on many back to school items such as notebooks, pencils etc.

8. Shop Around
Don’t buy from the first store you walk in, take some time and shop around and compare prices you’d be surprised how much you can save overall.

Tips from the Mrs:

  1. Buy used books- Your School probably has a used book website, you can also check out Red Flag Deals used book sales forum.
  2. See if your friends are taking the class or have taken it so that you may use their books.
  3. Get in the habit of making your lunch and taking breakfast. The Lattee factor as David Bach would call it.
  4. Look for student fares/passes for transportation.
  5. Buy your supplies at Wall-Mart and discount Retailers.
  6. Buy supplies in advance
  7. If buying electronics — shop around and see where you can get student discounts

Tips from twitter followers and bloggers:

@SuburbanDollar Utilize tax free weekends, if you have them [Suburban Dollar]

@freefrombroke Get into the bookstore early before the used books are gone [Free From Broke]

@BSimple Make a list of what you will need before you go shopping I promise you will save.  If you stick to your list [Simplified Financial Lifestyle]

@MonroeOnABudget if you need kids jeans buy half of them at thrift shops. Save “good jeans” for when they want to dress to impress [Monroe on A Budget]

@jessc098 the dollar store is a great place for school supplies!! Also, thrift stores this time of year have tons of winter/fall clothes [Jessica Ward]

Related Articles:

Simple Personal Financial Tips: Back to School

7 Steps to Save on School Supplies

Green Treehouse Panda is part of a HP’s Back to School Giveaway so be sure to enter!

What are your back to school money saving tips? Have you used any of these tips? How do you try to stay within your budget?