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Practical Back-To-School Shopping Tips for Frugal Parents

Be a pro in shopping for school supplies with these smart tips!

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | June 25, 2019
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Get all the school supplies needed for less with these school shopping tips.

There are milestones that new parents will experience throughout their parenthood journey: the birth of their child, sleepless nights and changing diapers, hearing their child’s first word—the list goes on. One of the biggest milestones is when your child goes to school and all the preparation that goes with it. As a parent, shopping for school supplies can get expensive and tiring if you are not aware of the best way and great back-to-school tips to go about it. Consider these back-to-school tips for saving on school supplies below before heading to the nearest mall.

• Make a very detailed list of what you need to buy and allot a budget.

One of the reasons why consumers tend to overspend is because they overlook this part. Listing helps you separate the needs from wants, and it gives you a clear vision of what to buy. For forgetful parents, lists give the bonus of not missing an item. Another benefit? Lists are time savers since you don’t need to roam around to determine what needs to be bought.

Make sure to indicate the needed quantity, type, and color—if necessary. If the school provided a list of school supplies to buy, bring that to your shopping trip. After making the list, it’s also recommended to set a specific budget for each item so that you are aware of how much you should spend.

• Buy basic supplies from supermarkets.

If you have limited time, do your weekly groceries and shop for basic school supplies in one go at a supermarket. Basic supplies you can get in these places are off-brand paper, pens, pencils, and notebooks. Watch out for back-to-school deals to save more.

• Search for and reuse supplies in your own home.

Your house could be the source of school or office supplies! If your kid has leftover usable materials from the previous school year, they could still use it for the coming year. Art materials like crayons, watercolor sets, scissors, and colored pencils usually last a long time and don’t always have to bought every school year. Unused notebook pages can also be bound together into a new notebook.

• Try to shop at garage sales and thrift stores for bags and shoes.

Second-hand stores and garage sales are known to be gold mines for people who want affordable and quality items. Most of these shops sell preloved bags, shoes, and, sometimes, school supplies. The downside is that thrift shopping will take more time since you have to search.

Along with the price, consider the quality as well before making a purchase. Don’t be too tempted by the affordability; make sure the item is in good condition. To save on textbooks, you can check secondhand bookshops or you can also buy the books of upper grade students who’ve used the same edition.

• Invest in good quality products.

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, quality is a factor that should be prioritized when it comes to purchasing school supplies. Good quality products might be expensive but it is more practical than buying a cheap substandard item. Most of these low-quality items tend to break faster so you have to buy more, but good quality products last longer.

However, not all school supplies you buy have to be of good quality. You can settle for off-brand versions of materials for one-time use, like papers and notebooks. Your money should be invested on things that your kid would use for a long time. For example, buy a sturdy bag that can be useful for many years instead of going for cheap bags made from weak materials.

• Buy bulk supplies from bargain markets.

If you really want to save money, head to a tiangge (bargain market) for bulk purchases. Bulk purchasing can be useful for parents with many children. Baclaran and Divisoria are typically popular destinations where you can get big savings. Try to haggle to save more cash.

Putting a kid through school is one of the most expensive things to do as parents, so finding ways to save money is definitely a plus. With these tips, may you have a more frugal shopping trip!

For more shopping tips, visit Yoorekka.
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About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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