Most back-to-school money-saving tips can be summed up with one word: Duh. Which is unfortunate because 87% of parents are stressed out when it comes to back-to-school shopping, and almost half worry about getting the most out of their budget.
Honestly, SAME, we’re right there with you.
This year, parents are expected to spend more than they did last year on items like clothes, electronics, shoes, backpacks, and more. That’s why we partnered with RetailMeNot to bring you back-to-school savings tips that level up beyond the “duh” category and are blowing our minds with “Why didn’t we think of that?”
If You’re Shopping Brick-and-Mortar, Consult Google for the Best Shopping Times
While shopping online continues to grow in popularity, 96% of parents will stop by a brick-and-mortar store during back-to-school season. Before you go, why not consult Google? By searching your store’s location, Google will give you peak shopping times by day and hour — this way you’ll know to avoid, say, Target on Thursday at 4 p.m. because it’s a mad dash.
Know Your Favorite Store’s Policies Inside and Out
Did you know that Bath & Body Works will honor a coupon three days before the sale and three days after the coupon expires? Or if an item you purchased goes on sale within 14 days, you can get the difference back. Holy cash money! No, we did NOT know that.
Exclusively Use Gift Cards Like Cash
Why not use discounted gift cards like cash during your back-to-school shopping? Purchased through RetailMeNot, you can save money off the face value of each gift card. Which means before you’ve even started, you’re already racking up hefty savings.
For Some Reason, Tuesday Is the Best Day for Saving Money
We’re not here to figure out why. We’re just here to tell you shopping on Tuesdays will save you an additional 5% compared to any other day of the week.
Weekend Sales Often Start on Thursdays, So You Don’t Have to Face the Crowds
Yes, it’s true that stores plan their deals around the weekend rush, but have you ever noticed that most of those sales are announced on Thursday? If you want to get that weekend deal, but absolutely loathe wasting your time standing in line, buy your items online Thursday and then utilize in-store pickup over the weekend at stores like Target, Best Buy, and Office Depot.
Consider RetailMeNot Your Best Friend
Seriously, they have you covered at every money-saving turn. Shopping at the mall and want to find deals? Just open the RetailMeNot app, tap on the “Mall Map” feature, and you’ll be guided to back-to-school deals near you. Shopping online but don’t want to go through the extra steps of searching for the best coupon codes? Download the brand-new browser extension, RetailMeNot Genie, and it will pop up during the checkout process with coupon codes and cash back offers to use — Genie even applies the discounts for you! And don’t forget to regularly read their crazy-informative blog posts for gift guides, savings advice, and shopping tips.
Pay a Little Extra for Quality Because of the Unbeatable Warranty
Backpacks take a beating over the school year, so it makes sense to invest in a quality purchase. JanSport, L.L.Bean, and Patagonia are three brands that offer lifetime warranties for their backpacks.
Avoid Trends and Shop Those End-of-Summer Sales
Of course, kids want all of their gear to flash with their favorite characters or pop culture icons, but once they get to school, everything may change. Offer them a compromise, one trendy T-shirt, and the rest basics. This way, you can hit the end-of-summer sales and look for items kids can wear all year like layering T-shirts, hoodies, and more.
Go Through the Aisle With Your Hands Out, and That’s How Many Pencils, Crayons, and Glue Sticks to Buy
Otherwise known as buying in bulk and our most obvious tip, purchasing loads of what kids use the most just plain makes sense. Your typical kid, by the time they reach their 10th birthday, will have worn down 720 crayons. So, yes, throwing all this stuff in your cart and storing it away for midyear restocks, or let’s face it, your own use because WHERE EVEN IS A PEN when you need one.
Set ALL the Alerts and Reminders for Tax-Free Weekends
If you’re Southern, then you love some tax-free shopping days, and this year 16 states are participating along with five — Delaware, Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon — that never charge sales tax. Each participating state has different requirements to receive tax-free status on your purchases, so make sure to check out this handy guide.
We hope you learned at least one new thing for this back-to-school season that will save you money and offer at least two minutes of inner peace before the kids start demanding more snacks.
RetailMeNot is the ultimate destination for saving money when you shop online or in a store. With deals, coupons, and cash back offers on everything you need, it’s easy to save at all your favorite stores and restaurants! If you’re shopping online, the RetailMeNot Genie browser extension finds, combines, and applies savings at checkout — so you don’t have to do the legwork of searching for deals.