It’s true…families can feel the pinch this time of year as back-to-school shopping can really strain your budget. This year, clothing and accessories are costing 18% more than in 2021. In addition, school supplies are up 7% vs. 2021, according to Fortune.com. Add these increases to the already inflated groceries and gas, and that pinch hurts even more.
But guess what’s hot now? Cash-savings apps, consignment stores & thrifting! We’ve found some ways for you to not only save money but also receive cash back.
Cash Back Opportunities
There are many websites and apps that will reward you with cash back, or points that can be redeemed for cash back or gift cards. These programs also feature special promotions, deals, and giveaways and those announcements and details are emailed to you. Find savings on clothing, groceries, gas, school supplies, tech gadgets, and much more!
- Rakuten – Download the Rakuten app or the browser extension or go to rakuten.com where you’ll find savings at over 3500 stores. Whatever cash you receive back, you’ll receive it every three months either by a check in the mail or by PayPal.
- Honey – Honey also has an app and browser extension. With the extension, you can shop online and Honey will pop up and let you know if there are savings available.
- Fetch Rewards – With the Fetch Rewards app, you just scan your receipts with your smartphone to earn points. Then redeem those points for gift cards and more.
- Ibotta – Shopping through Ibotta also offers discounts and special deals at thousands of retailers.
- RetailMeNot – Add this extension to your Chrome browser, and it will automatically find savings at over 20,000 stores.
In addition to these online savings, there are many sites that offer gift cards with prices less than their face value (Raise.com, CardCash.com, Sam’s Wholesale & Costco). Just be sure to read the fine print.
Shop Consignment & Thrift Stores – Don’t let me say it…Okay, I’ll say it…”One man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” and there are plenty of treasures to be found in resale shops, whether consigned or “thrifted.” AND you’ll be surprised to see that many items are still of great quality and the prices are certainly right, some even still with original tags! These stores are also great to check out if your school requires uniforms as basic khaki pants and polo shirts are easy to spot. Mark your calendar for the U.S. National Thrift Shop Day which is on August 17.
Consignment stores like Once Upon a Child and Plato’s Closet are popular for kids’ clothes and teens certainly love Plato’s. You can also “Google” thrift stores near me or search for your nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army. Online resell shops are also great resources for discounted clothing. Check out Poshmark, ThredUp, Swap, and Thrifted.
Organize Clothing Swaps – Consider hosting a clothing swap with parents, relatives, friends, or neighbors. A swap can easily be organized with other parents of the school either through the school office or through a Facebook group. Your kids will get a refreshed wardrobe – and you’ll get a clutter-free closet! Sure no kid likes hand-me-downs, but it just makes financial sense, since they’ll probably outgrow them anyway.
While prices may be up this year, there are deals to be found if you just look for them. Luckily we’ve found a great resource in the Passionate Penny Pincher. Here, you can download a free Back-To-School Checklist and stay up to date on the best back-to-school sales. But before you head out, ask yourself the following questions:
What do I already have – There’s no need to start from scratch each year! If Timmy wasn’t too hard on his backpack last year, maybe he can use it again. Other items that may last longer than a year include lunch boxes, pencil cases, and binders.
What can I buy in bulk – If you have more than one kid needing folders, loose-leaf paper, facial tissue, or pencils, think about what you might be able to get at Sam’s Club or Costco. If you include the neighbor kids or family members with similar needs, you can even split the cost. If you organize a clothing swap with other school parents, incorporate a supply swap as well.
“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” – B.B. King
When shopping for items in the technology category, you can always find a wide range of price points and lesser expensive alternatives. For example, instead of buying your child a laptop, you might choose a tablet and keyboard (it has similar functions for less overall cost).
Whether you’re searching for a tablet or laptop or iPhone, you can look for a pre-owned refurbished version which is an effective way to save. Just make sure you’re choosing reliable items from a reputable reseller. According to Consumer Reports, some companies provide warranties and money-back guarantees, and sellers might offer “certified” refurbished tech.
Price tracking apps allow you to set up price alerts to find sales and save money. ShopSavvy, for example, sends alerts for price drops and deals, and it compares costs across thousands of retailers. Along those lines, some big-box stores will match lower prices on items you find elsewhere.
Select retailers also offer discounts specifically for students. So when shopping for technology, OR clothing, be sure to ask if a student discount is currently offered and take advantage of that extra percentage off.
We would like to wish the best of luck to all of the students for the 2022-2023 school year!
“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss
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