Summer is coming to an end and now it’s time to start a new school year! This is a crazy time for parents especially. Running around to every store in Albuquerque trying to find that one random item on your childs’ list. ABQtodo wants to make your back-to-school shopping much easier by giving you some helpful tips on saving money.
Shop your kid’s backpack:
Take inventory of what your child has now and what can be reused during the new school year.
If it’s possible, leave the kids at home when you head out to buy school supplies. This will not only help speed up your shopping trip, but you’re less likely to make unnecessary or impulse purchases.
It may seem convenient to get all the school supplies in one place, but that doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best deal. If you want to save money, scope out different stores and look at their sales and discounts. Certain stores will price match or may have even better discounts. There are also many Back-to-School Cheat Sheets like this one: http://moneysavingmom.com/2016/07/2016-back-school-stock-prices.html helping you compare stores prices.
A good tip is to shop the harder items, like a specific calculator, while the store is in stock because waiting might cost you more. Pencils, paper & notebooks can always be restocked easily and prices are normally very affordable. If you don’t have a list yet, it doesn’t hurt to ask the teacher ahead of time.
Buy in bulk:
You may not need 100 pens or pencils right now, but you can use them later. When you buy in bulk the unit price is cheaper. So, it may seem like too many of one item now, but you won’t have to shop for that item later in the school year and maybe even next school year. Buying in bulk with another parent might help the both of you.
Many retailers offer notebooks, binders, backpacks and many with cool designs or cartoons, but those come at a price. They’re typically 20%-30% more expensive than items with no characters on them. If your child absolutely has to have Dory on her new lunch bag or backpack, buy some stickers and let them decorate it themselves or stick to the basic colored items.
The cost of college textbooks can be ridiculous but finding them used can help. Instead of paying $200 at a university bookstore you can find a bent copy with a few coffee stains for a lot cheaper elsewhere.
Rent, E-book, or Share:
You can also save money on textbooks by purchasing a licensed electronic copy of your book. Typically e-books are available for set periods of time, such as one semester. You don’t have to carry around a book just carry your phone, tablet or laptop. Another option is renting. You can rent electronic copies or rent a physical copy and once you’re done, you can send it back. Sharing is an option as well but both parties will have to work out a schedule on when they need it. If a roommate or classmate is willing to split the cost and your schedules work together, this could be a great option.
Shop during tax holiday:
New Mexico offers a weekend where sales tax is waived on select items. Research what is eligible / non-eligible for the tax-free holiday before heading out. (Pick up big-ticket items on these special days) Info on New Mexico tax holiday can be found here: http://www.tax.newmexico.gov/tax-holiday.aspx. The tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on August 5, 2016 and concludes on August 7, 2016 at midnight.
School Supply Drives
There are plenty of school supply drives happening in Albuquerque to help students / schools in need this school year. Pick up some extra items and drop them off at any participating location.
KOAT Annual School Supply Drive
Kutz 4 Kifz
1st Annual School Supply Drive & Music in the Park!
Sagebrush Community Church Teacher Supply Drive
Good luck. Stay calm and have fun hunting 🙂 Share this blog with your friends and family!