It’s hard to believe that the summer season is winding down and we are getting ready to send our little ones off to school again. No matter how fast the summer may seem to go, there is one thing I am never prepared for, the added expense of back to school shopping!
It also seems that as our children get older, the longer and more expensive the lists gets. Nevertheless, the shopping needs to get completed and each year I am on a mission to save and shop smart for back to school.
So what can we do to prepare for the added expense of back to school shopping?
Here are 5 ways that you can save some big bucks while back to school shopping:
Shop on tax-free days.
Depending on the state, many do offer tax-free shopping day’s right around the back to school season. This is a wonderful time to take advantage of saving on big ticket items like electronics, or if you have to purchase necessities like shoes, clothing or other expensive normally taxed items. Check here to see if your state offers tax-free shopping.
Ask for military discounts while shopping.
You’ll never know unless you ask. Many times I have found that while not advertised, retailers do indeed offer a military discount with proper identification. You can save anywhere from 10%-25% off your purchase, which surely adds up!
Military Discount Retailers:
Rack Room Shoes
Pottery Barn Kids
For more retailers check out this military discount list from Military.com.
Take advantage of the Operation Homefront back-to-school brigade.
Every year Operation Homefront teams up with the Dollar Tree to collect school supplies for military children. All supplies are donated and local events are held for military families to pick up their free backpacks and school supplies. Most events begin in August, be sure to check here to see when an event in your area will be held.
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Wait until after back to school to shop.
Many times schools won’t give your kids their list of needed items until after the first week or so of school, and by this time, stores are surely discounting supplies. Send your kids with the essentials, but if you can wait a couple of weeks to purchase the big priced items, do it! One year we scored a brand new laptop that my son needed for school for an additional 25% off. It was well worth the wait for the savings!
Use the Exchange price match policy.
I feel like many of us know this, but either forget or don’t realize just how much you can save. The Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force Exchange all offer price matching. If you see something at a lower price at another store, bring in the flyer and they will match the price at the competitor’s lower price. The Navy Exchange and AAFES also offer tax free shopping.
How do you save money on back to school shopping? Share with us in the comments below.
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About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.
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