Use back-to-school shopping time as a learning experience for your kids. Experts from TD Bank offer tips on how to save big on back-to-school items while teaching your kids about budgeting and making smart buying decisions.
1. Go shopping in your own closets and drawers.
- Have your child collect his/her leftover school supplies from the previous year, and decide together what can be reused (items like pens, erasers, and highlighters are usually the most recyclable). Use this example to teach your children about the importance of recycling and how it helps to save money.
2. Compare prices.
- Make a list of only the supplies you need and research different stores to see where you can find each product the cheapest.
- Depending on the age of your child, have her help you with this and let her know the budget you have set aside for the item.
Turn it up a notch: If your child helps you save a nice chunk of change, offer an incentive like giving her a portion of the money she saves you.
3. Use sales to get a head start for next year.
- Once the current school year begins, there are sure to be many sales on school supplies. This is a perfect time to stock up on notebooks and binders, etc. for the upcoming year at great prices.
- Bring your child with you and compare price differences to show him how much he can save if he shops smart.
- If your child is very young (K-3), bring him along to expose him to the types of money available (cash, coin) and to show him how money facilitates transactions.
4. Kids pay too!
- Of course you will purchase the majority of your child’s back-to-school items, but have her use some of her own savings to cover any “extras."
- This is a great time to have a conversation about the difference between needs and wants and why she’ll need to budget her money in order to afford them.
5. Take advantage of ways to make and save cash.
- Consider selling new or slightly used clothes that your child has never worn or has grown out of.
- Pack lunches from home instead of purchasing a school meal plan. Explain to your kids that this will save money that can be used towards other fun things like going to the movies, going out to dinner, etc.
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