Back-to-school supplies on a budget
Five tips for finding all the school supplies they’ll need – affordably.
By Dan Henry, Contributing Writer, Walmart
1. Start with a home inventory
Before you set off on your back-to-school shopping trip, "shop" your home for items you already own. Go through your child's closet and sort clothing and accessories into three piles: keep, repair, donate/toss. Do the same thing with notebooks, pens and other school supplies. You'll be surprised by the supplies you already have on hand.
2. Check the trends before you spend
When it comes to back-to-school fashion, most kids want what the other kids are wearing. Pick up a few basics before classes begin and get the trendy and popular items a few weeks in. Also check out Walmart's Back to School Closet tool, which allows you to build your own wardrobe and calculate the savings before you head to the store. Use the same approach with school supplies: Wait until your children's teachers have given you their list – or find your child's actual class list with Classrooms by Walmart.
3. Do your homework online
Follow Walmart’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for announcements on back-to-school offers. Also search online for the words “back to school coupons” and keep an eye on Walmart's In-Store Coupons for ongoing savings. Finally, look for rebates on school supplies – and use them. The money you save in the end will be worth the time and effort you spend filling out and sending the forms.
4. Match those ads
You can score back-to-school clothing and supplies at a big discount by taking advantage of Walmart's Ad Match Guarantee. Look through newspaper circulars or online ads, circle the lowest advertised price for every item you need, and take the ads to the closest Walmart store that price matches. You'll save time, money and gas.
5. Think ahead about what goes on your kids’ feet
Shoes are one of the most expensive supplies you will buy, and kids run through them fast. Be strategic. Buy shoes for the whole family when prices are best. Then take steps to extend the lifespan of every pair: Waterproof and clean your family’s shoes often, remind your kids to tie and untie their laces before taking shoes on and off, and keep all shoes away from pets.
Sure, back-to-school planning can be daunting. But with a little common sense and these simple guidelines, you won't blow your budget before Labor Day.
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