Connecticut BBB Offers Tips to Save Money on Back-to-School Purchases by Shopping Smart
Many retailers offer back-to-school specials and coupons to entice shoppers, however, BBB recommends avoid purchasing items you don’t immediately need to help avoid breaking your budget.
Consumers shopping for back-to-school supplies can take advantage of their state’s tax-free week to get more from their money. These tax holidays typically suspend sales tax from most clothing and footwear, up to a maximum of $300.
According to the National Retail Federation, parents will be shopping carefully and making special efforts to save on supplies this school year. 31% of families say they will do comparative shopping online (compared to 29.8% last year), and they will use more coupons (38.7% vs. 36.9%), and cut back on extracurricular activities or sports (14.3% vs. 10.2%).
Many retailers offer back-to-school specials and coupons to entice shoppers, however, BBB recommends delaying the purchase of items you don't need immediately.
Take inventory - There’s always that endless supply of markers, crayons and notebooks around the house. Reusing these can save hundreds of dollars over the years.
Look for the deals - Some retailers’ back-to-school specials are available for online and in-store purchase. Make sure to check out your local newspaper for deals. Many retailers will put ads showcasing the special buy-one-get-
Set a budget - Decide how much you are willing to spend per child. After taking inventory, create a shopping list and stick to it. This will help you avoid costly impulse purchases and ensure nothing is forgotten.
Know what your child's school allows - Schools will often provide parents with a list of required items for the school year, which can help determine what you need to purchase. These lists are also available at many retail stores and on school websites. Additionally, many schools have specific dress codes, so keep these restrictions in mind before spending money on clothes the school may not allow.
Check for refund and exchange policies - Be sure you can exchange or return items purchased during this time period. Keep in mind some items may be non-refundable or have restocking fees associated with a return.
For more consumer tips you can trust, visit http://ct.bbb.org/