As children nationwide head back to school, here are some ways to save money on school supplies.

Financing back-to-school supplies can put a lot of strain on parents and guardians, especially if they have not budgeted adequately. The good news is that there are certain ways you can minimise the costs, here are a few:

1. Shop at the right time

Timing and planning play a crucial role in buying school supplies. If you missed the pre-festive season shopping rush, you may still be able to take advantage of back-to-school sales in January. Buying early may just allow children to use materials even before school starts so remember this for next year. Waiting too long also means potentially missing out on the best bargains, so make sure you strike a good balance when it comes to shopping for supplies at the right time.

2. Shop around for the best deals

Different stores have different prices for the same products. Check sale brochures and pick the best buys from each store if you want to save some money. Alternatively, you can shop at a store that offers price matching or shop online if you don’t want to visit stores physically.

3. Buy quality products

Cheap products can cost you more in the long run because they may not last as long. Spend some time looking for quality products, even if it means spending a little bit more. Go for the backpack with a longer warranty, choose the spiral notebooks with the durable covers. You may spend more now, but you won’t have to replace the items later and this could save you more money.

4. Set a budget for your kids

Children will try as much as possible to avoid reusing last year’s school supplies and will never miss a chance to buy a fancy new school item. If this attitude is hampering your efforts to save, set a budget estimate. Tell your kids that you will only spend a certain amount on an item and if they want an upgrade they’ll need to chip in (either using their savings or by doing extra chores). Another option could be to let kids choose which items to reuse and which ones to buy new.

5. Use cash instead of credit cards

Use cash instead of credit cards to pay for school supplies. Paying with cash allows you to keep an eye on your money, stay within your budget and you will not have to pay interest on your purchases later. Focus on buying the most essential items first. If the need for more supplies arises once school starts, prioritise those items and shop accordingly.

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