Cool Ideas

Back to School Savings Tips

It won't be long before school is back in session, so it's time to start planning your back-to-school shopping list. No doubt your child is going to need all the essentials like pens, notebooks, new clothes, and even pricey electronics. And since we know that list can be daunting, we've come up with a few handy tips to keep costs at a minimum.

School Supplies
  • Compare prices: In today's age of technology, price comparison shopping has never been so easy, so we strongly suggest you take advantage. With all the big name stores competing for customers, there are plenty of deals to be had as the summer days wind down. So before you venture to the closest store, hop on the Internet and browse a few Web sites before making any purchases. For example, you can buy a Savings Pass at Staples.com for just $10, and in return you'll get 15 percent off on hundreds of back to school supplies.
  • Shop tax-free: When you are shopping for multiple items at once, such as school supplies, the cost of taxes quickly adds up. Luckily, most states offer a tax-free shopping weekend specifically around the month of August to help give parents a break with back to school shopping. What better incentive to get all your shopping done in one weekend? Find out your state's tax free weekend for 2012.
  • Become a fan: Besides being the leading social network to connect with friends and family, Facebook is loaded with deals and opportunities to save—all you have to do is become a fan. Simply look up a company that stocks back to school supplies (like Walgreens) or a company associated with savings (like CoolSavings). Then "like" the page to get the inside scoop on sales and specials delivered right to your newsfeed. For example, right now you can "like" Crayola on Facebook to receive a $1 off coupon for a purchase of $5 or more.
  • Buy gently used electronics: Okay, so it might be tempting to give your child the best laptop, scientific calculator, tablet, or whatever other gadget is trending right now. And while it's becoming more and more common to give young kids electronics, the truth is they are still kids—which means all those pricey items are subject to the spilling, dropping, and misplacing that comes along with the territory. For this reason, we highly suggest skipping retail price and buying tech items gently used to get the most bang for your buck. Check sites like Craigslist or Ebay, or even ask around to your circle of family and friends to see if anyone is getting rid of something.
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