5 tips to save on back-to-school spending

NBC15's Gabriella Rusk breaks down how much money families are paying on back-to-school spending over the past few years.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 8:09 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - If you’re feeling the pinch of increased prices of school supplies, you’re not alone. According to the National Retail Federation, the cost of back-to-school spending per household has increased from $697 in 2019 to an expected spending of $864 dollars for this upcoming school year.

Here are some tips on ways to save money so you don’t break the bank when sending your kids back to the classroom.

1. Stick to the List and Prioritize Supplies

While you may want to check off every item on your child’s school supply list before the first day of school, decide what’s absolutely needed right away. You can ask teachers or the school which items should be purchased first and then buy the remaining supplies in September and beyond. This will help you spread out your back-to-school budget.

2. Shop Second Hand

If you’re looking for clothes or kids backpacks, see what your local thrift store has to offer before buying something new. You can also look on Facebook Marketplace to see what neighbors in your area may be selling for cheap.

3. Check for Coupons

Many retailers have discounts available when you sign up for the store’s email subscription or download the app. For example, Target Circle may have coupons for certain items when you use your phone to scan in store ahead of check out. You can also Google coupon codes for certain store websites when shopping online or use a Chrome extension like Honey.

4. Last Year’s Leftovers

Before you hit the stores, check your child’s backpack or room for any gently used items from the previous year. There may be a notebook with only a few pages written in it or a folder than can be used again for a different subject this school year.

5. Buy in Bulk

Consider buying supplies in bulk for items students will use every year like pencils and paper. You can also reach out to other parents or neighbors and see if there are families willing to split the cost of buying in bulk for supplies like folders and notebooks.