Back-to-school shopping can be overwhelming, and for good reason! Between required school supplies and those extras your kids beg for, it’s an expensive time of year that can eat up a bigger chunk of your budget than you planned for.
What if it didn’t have to be this way? What if back-to-school shopping could be an opportunity to save and teach important financial lessons to your kids? This back-to-school season, try out these savings strategies that double as teaching tools.
List it out
Before your child starts listing everything under the sun, get your classroom supply list from their school! Don’t go shopping before you get it or you’ll end up buying things you don’t need. You can then add any extras that aren’t on the list that your kids still need during the school year.
Lesson: Creating a list of necessities before we shop helps us stay focused and disciplined.
Build that budget
Now that you have your list, estimate how much you want to spend on each item by doing some research. Look them up on online on Noon, Amazon, Carrefour, and others to compare prices. Have your child add up the total you plan to spend and decide your budget.
Lesson: Planning in advance and creating a budget is an important part of being responsible with money.
Shop at home
Take inventory of what you already have in your house! Challenge your child in finding things that still work for the new school year. An old lunchbox can be transformed from boring to a brand new “cool” lunchbox when decorated with stickers. Get creative with ways to make each item feel like new.
Lesson: We don’t need to buy NEW stuff all the time! We can save money by repurposing used items that are still in good shape.
Crunch those numbers
Whether it’s in-person or online, shop together and make sure you have a calculator handy. Compare the actual prices of the items you find with the estimates you had previously written down. Keep track of the total sum – if you’re over budget, work together to get back on track! Maybe your kids will need to choose regular yellow pencils instead of superhero or glittery ones—talk through these decisions and teach them about trade-offs and how we can save money by the choices we make.
Lesson: Comparing prices and choosing less expensive options can help make sure we don’t overspend – and may give you a little extra to splurge later on.
Buy in bulk
Don’t have enough kids to make bulk-buying worth it? Team up with other parents in your kid’s class! Everybody’s shopping from the same lists, so there’s no need to pay retail prices on things like pencils, athletic socks, or glue sticks. Split amongst several kids—your own or others—you can save a chunk of change.
Lesson: Buying in bulk can be a great deal, but only if we use everything we buy.
Look for deals online
Your kids may have a blast running down aisles full of colorful notebooks and Disney-themed everything, but online savings can be too good to pass up. Search online or use Amazon to find discount brands not available in stores. Stores like Carrefour are offering up to 50% discounts through August 21st, and The Dubai Store has discounts up to 70% with an extra 10% off with special codes.
Lesson: Shopping in a store may be fun, but some of the best deals may be found online.
Bonus: Let your kid splurge a little if you come in under budget
Once you’ve checked off everything on your list, check your child’s math. If you’re below budget, surprise them by letting them pick out a splurge item. Be sure to deposit half their savings in their Verity account, first! It’s never too early to instill the habit of splitting earnings as healthy money habit.
Lesson: Savvy shopping leaves room in our budget to spend on special things AND save extra for the future.
Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be a stress on your budget—or on you. Turn this time of year into a chance to provide your kids with experience making real-life money decisions. Working together as a team can be a great bonding experience, and you might even have fun! How do you save on back-to-school shopping?