Connecticut Better Business Bureau encourages parents and students to take advantage of the state’s tax holiday next week to save money on clothing, the single greatest expense as students head back to school.
According to the National Retail Federation (http://www.nrf.com/
Better Business Bureau offers these tips to help you keep spending in line as the fall semester approaches:
Check your inventory – See what clothes still fit from last year before laying down a bundle on new clothing and accessories. Buy items than can be easily mixed and matched. Use a checklist before shopping to help you stick to your budget, rather than buying on impulse.
Go online – Before you begin shopping, do a quick price search for items on your list to help you budget. Online shopping can offer great savings, but calculate shipping costs to make sure they don’t eat away at the discounts. College students also can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing from sites dedicated to re-selling textbooks.
Set-up email alerts at your favorite stores - Email and Twitter alerts can give you a heads up when items go on sale. Many sites have an informed community of savvy shoppers on their blog or in their forums who willingly share deals, exclusive coupons, rebates and insider information on where and when to find the best prices, popular models and links to helpful resources. These alerts will ensure you don’t miss out on the hottest, and/or limited opportunities.
Take advantage of discounts - Many stores offer student and teacher discounts on hot items like laptops and uniforms. Retailers will be trying to make room for fall fashion and the newest models, so there are substantial savings to be had on last season’s items.
Shop out of season – You don’t have to purchase your youngster’s wardrobe for the entire year in one outing. Instead of paying a premium for the latest styles, save money by purchasing summer clothes in the winter and vice versa. If your child is still growing, you might want to buy clothing that is a size or two larger for later in the school year.
Don’t skimp on certain items – While there are places where you can cut corners, there is little point in looking to save money by purchasing a $20 backpack that will have to be replaced by the end of the year. Pay a little extra for quality items that can handle wear and tear.
Remember that the internet offers much more than price comparison and retail websites. Look for sites where you can swap items with other families, including sports equipment, and look for online coupons.
You will find more tips on saving money and being a smart shopper at www.bbb.org