Back to School Shopping13/04/2017 15:02
03 January 2017
Back to School Shopping
Shopping for “Back to School” does not have to be such a financial burden.
Instead of thinking of buying expensive school supplies for your children, get smart. A child with a simple backpack or non-branded stationeries can still do well in school.
What is the best strategy for back to school shopping? Get organized, stock up on the basics, and look for sales and promotions.
Start your shopping with a game plan. Even if your child’s teacher has not provided a list of school supplies, you cannot go wrong by sticking with the basics and taking advantage of back to school sales. The following hints will help you to monitor your spending, so that you stay within your budget and not indulge in unwise spending:
1) Making A Shopping List: Always list everything such as stationeries, bags and uniforms that you wish to purchase. The list must include a rough price range of items which you are prepared to spend.
2) Prioritize: Group the essential items (your needs) and non-essentials (wants) separately. Always buy the essentials first.
3) Check Budget: You need to set your financial boundaries or limits. This eliminates any form of impulse buying which you may regret later.
4) Check Sales: January is always a time of sales for back to school but you need to find out for yourself if these are really ‘sales’ and not just gimmicks by companies to lure customers. Do a bit of “window shopping” when you have the spare time, to verify prices, quality of items and sales conditions.
5) Head to the Supermarket for Basic Supplies: Check weekly guides for great deals on exercise books, stationeries, lunch boxes, juice bottles, etc. and get your weekly grocery shopping done at the same time. Bonus: buying everything in one place will save time and fuel money.
Ensure Quality: Figure out when quality counts.
(6) Leaky pens will cost you more in ruined clothes than a better quality but more expensive variety. In the event that a strap or a buckle falls off, a sandal with a warranty might be a good investment, even if it costs more. However not every costly item will last as long as you’d like. Take calculators, for example. Math teachers advise that you not purchase one with more functions than your child will use so that she learns and uses those functions. But as she advances in math, your junior school or high school student will likely need to replace her scientific calculator with a one suitable for higher up classes. Read the labels of products to ensure you are aware of the contents, durability of the item, any special conditions, etc. Also, be careful of “Buy One and Get One Free” promotions. Sometimes such promotions are used to get rid of inferior quality products or products that are not fast moving.
(7) Choosing the Right Shop: This may mean traveling the extra mile, but it may save money. You need to know which shops offer you best prices and good quality uniforms, books, stationeries and other essential items. And the best way to do this is to check the newspapers for their range of prices.
(8) Shopping Around: You do not have to buy all your supplies from one store. You could shop around and pick and choose items that may be better quality from a certain shop or better priced. However if the prices are just a few cents different it may not be worth the extra fuel or inconvenience doing this.
(9) Watch that scanner: When you are queuing up at the counter always observe the scanner so that prices displayed on the items you are buying are correctly recorded on the cash register. Many have been duped into paying more because of incorrect advertisements or scanning error of cashiers. Calculate your bill before you reach the counter, so that if it does not tally with the cashier’s figure, you can quickly alert her of the mistake.
(10) Reuse or recycle stationeries: It is not necessary to buy stationeries that you have at hand. A cheaper option is to stick to your list and dig into those drawers, closets and rooms for pens, textbooks and uniforms. If you have uniforms that does not fit your children, donate or convert it for wearing around the house.