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Thursday, August 12, 2010

10 tips for saving money during the back-to-school season

It's hard when you have kids going back to school and the list for each of them is as long as your arm. TwitterMoms has joined with Staples to try to help make it a bit easier for moms and dads this year.
Here are my 10 tips for saving money during the back to school season....

#1. Don't wait for the back to school season. Periodically through the year things your kids will need for school go on sale. Stock up then. When your kid comes home with a note saying 'Little Johnny needs xyz' then you have to run out and find whatever you can and inevitably pay a lot more for it.

#2 Sign up for emails from companies. I just got an email in my inbox this morning for a 20% discount off of Dell computers. I get emails from Staples and many other places letting me know of upcoming sales with coupon codes to buy online, etc.

#3. At the end of the year your child (at least MY child) will get a list of supplies your child will need for the upcoming school year. Stick it in your purse and carry it around with you just in case you come across a good sale.

#4. ThredUP I found this website and it's awesome! It's a website where you can trade off clothing your child has outgrown for clothes that will fit. You list a 'box' of clothes for others to get. They pay the shipping, you send the box. Then, you pick a box of clothes that will fit your child, pay the shipping and you get the box in your mailbox. No shopping involved. I just got my first box in the mail the other day and it was fantastic!

#5. Garage Sales/Yard Sales. I haven't been out this year, but in the past I was able to get a lot of clothes for my son at yard sales. When kids are small they don't have a lot of time to wreck their clothes before they're outgrown so this works very well.

#6. Match coupons with sales. This is likely the only time of the year where you will find coupons for things like pens etc. Take advantage of it and get free pens, stick it notes and more.

#7. CVS. My favorite 3 letters in the alphabet. Go to CVS, scan your Extra Care Card and get coupons for things you can buy in the store. This time of the year they have a lot of stationary coupons that print out, and along with the sales they have every week, you can nearly stock up for an entire year on some things. I still have pens from shopping there last year.

#8. Hand me downs. I know it sounds simple but a lot of people don't have kids they can hand clothes down to. Reach out to your extended family, like cousins and such. There must be someone. Offer them something your child has grown out of for their small ones. It all pays off in the long run.

#9. Join Freecycle. I can't tell you how many times I've given things away or received things from this website. It's an online swap. If you need something, ask for it, you just never know. If you have something, offer it. Even though it's no good to you, it might be perfect for someone else.

#10. Your county. I've seen so many places in my area (near Dallas) that hold 'back to school clinics'. They offer free school supplies, free shoes, free haircuts, free immunizations, free dental and free eye checkups. If I lived closer I would have gone. There is one in my county as well, I just have to find out where. Call your local Chamber of Commerce to find out where your closest one is.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to:

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