Saving on Back to School

What Can You Do?

According to a recent study by the National Retail Federation, families with school-age children will spend an average $634.78 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics during the 2013 back-to-school shopping season. Total back-to-school spending is projected to reach $26.7 billion.

It’s important to keep back-to-school in perspective and set a budget just as you would for holiday shopping or birthdays. Buying a whole new wardrobe is probably not necessary at the beginning of the school year – despite what your teenage daughter says. Most kids are still wearing summer clothes the first few weeks of school anyway, so keep an eye out for sales. Consider purchasing clothing for the next school year in January or February as most winter items will be discounted as the stores make way for spring and summer clothing. Also, many consignment stores carry a variety of name-brand clothing at a fraction of the cost.

Note the items that are required by your school for your child’s grade at the end of the school year, and then keep an eye out for coupons and discounts throughout the summer. Not waiting until the last minute will eliminate having to pay full price for something just because you have to have it – plus it will alleviate a little stress. Smartphone apps such as ShopKick, Plink and Valpak offer immediate savings and compare in-store prices.

Don’t forget many office supply stores, drug stores and even Toys R Us stock up on school supplies. Many of these stores offer rewards programs that you can rack up points and get your items at a discounted price or even free if combined with manufacturer’s coupons. Plus, you may have more options to choose from as the big box stores begin to run out of items.

Reward yourself. Being the parent can be stressful. By using a credit card that offers rewards, such as Citizens National Bank’s Visa card, you can earn points for all those purchases you’re making and turn them into a gift for yourself through the website. Apply for a CNB Visa today at any branch and register online at to cash in on your kids’ school needs.

Happy shopping!

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