Showing posts with label back to school savings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label back to school savings. Show all posts

Monday, August 29, 2016

Top Tips for Fall Savings During Back-to-School Season




If you have school-aged children, fall typically means back-to-school season, which means spending. From an updated wardrobe to accommodate your growing kids, to school supplies and technology, it’s understandable to seek out ways to save – and we can help. Check out these ideas and tips for preparing your student(s) for the school year without breaking the bank. Even if no one in your home is headed back to school, these tips can apply to any fall purchases, from clothing and boots to household items.

The first tip may not be the most fun you’ve ever had, but taking inventory can result in great savings. Here’s how to get started:
  • Clothing: Evaluate what still fits, what can be passed on to another child, and what won’t work for anyone. If still in good condition, items that no longer fit anyone in your household can be taken to your closest consignment shop, which may result in cash back if your items sell. Take stock of footwear and accessories in this manner, too. Utilize what you have available, and capitalize on what won’t work.
  • Gear/Supplies: Check backpacks, desks, and closets for any supplies, i.e. lunch bags, pens and pencils, and binders, leftover from last year that can still be used. Don’t overlook these “leftovers,” which can result in significant fall savings.
  • Technology: Evaluate your family’s needs with a critical eye. Do you need one computer or more? Do you have a student going off to college who requires a laptop? Only buy what is truly a priority.
Once you take inventory, make a detailed list of your family’s needs. Before you head to the store, reach out to family, friends, and neighbors who are also preparing to head back to school and host a swap – what is no longer useful for your family may be useful for another family – or vice versa. After the swap, revise your list to only those items that you still truly need. Stick to your list while you’re doing back-to-school shopping. While it’s easy to sway from your list for just one item, then another, this can quickly lead to overspending.

Your next step should be to determine a strategy. First, find coupons for items you need through sites such as coupons.com or retailmenot.com. Also, compare prices. It might be necessary to shop at more than one store to find the best prices on the items you need. Research sales online before you head to the store to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Additional tips:
  • Remember: Unless a school uniform is required, kids can usually wear many summer items for the first few weeks of school before transitioning into the fall season. Then, they can add layers of additional clothing as needed. Take advantage of this extra time and put off additional spending for a few weeks, which can help your household’s cash flow.
  • Don’t forget to check out consignment and second-hand shops, especially for trendy pieces, which are usually more expensive but don’t stay in style for very long. 
  • When purchasing notebooks, binders, and other school supplies, stick with the plain and simple version. Those with specialty characters and themes may cost 20-30% more. Your kids can have fun customizing their own supplies with stickers and other add-ons. Have a back-to-school afternoon, creating unique looks for school supplies and excitement for the new school year. 
  • Some municipalities/cities offer back-to-school supplies free of charge at local events. Check your local listings for programs near you, which can offer significant fall savings for your family.
Back-to-school time doesn’t mean you need to fall into a spending trap. There are a lot of ways to find the best for less this fall.

And, of course, going back to school can also mean the return of illnesses for your family, as flu season hits and your kids are back in an environment more likely to spread germs. Stay ahead of the game and get your free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card to ensure that you’re paying the lowest price on all the prescription medications your family may need.

Download a free card online today or request a card by calling 1-800-222-2818. You can also get the free FamilyWize app, available for both Android at the Google Play Store and Apple Devices (iPhone and iPad) at the App Store.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back to School Savings Strategies

According to the National Retail Federation, average back-to-school spending has grown 42 percent over the past 10 years. To help you combat the budget-busting burden of school-related expenses, we offer the following savings strategies:

1.  Save on clothing for school
Clothing can be a big expense when your kids are going back to school. These tips will help you keep costs manageable:
  • Take stock: Before you purchase any new clothing, take an inventory of your child’s current clothes for the school year. Figure out what still fits, what is still in good shape, and what should be donated or thrown away. This may mean pulling out the boxes of winter clothes before the weather turns cold, but that extra effort could save you hundreds of dollars down the line.
  • Save with hand-me-downs: While new clothes are fun for the kids, you can save a ton by tapping into your inventory. Any clothes that are too small but still in good condition can be handed down to one of your younger children.
  • Host a clothes-swap party: You can expand your clothing options and get rid of unwanted items by hosting a party to exchange your inventory with parents in your neighborhood, church, or other social group.
  • Consider secondhand shops: New clothes at a retail store can cost ten times more than those purchased from a secondhand store or consignment shop.
2.  Save on school supplies
The inevitable school supplies can be cheaper with these smart tips:
  • Ask for discounts: Many brands or stores give big discounts to students, particularly those in college. This article from Business Insider lists students discounts for retailers ranging from Amazon to the Apple Store.
  • Bulk buy: If you can swing it financially, buying school supplies in bulk at your local warehouse store can lead to big savings in the long run. If you don’t need a whole ream of printer paper or a 12-pack of notebooks, split the supplies - and the cost - with fellow parents.
3.  Save on school lunches
Food costs can add up if you aren't careful, but there are steps you can take to reduce the daily price of school lunch:
  • Ask about free lunch: The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) gives out 19.2 million free lunches each day, so check to see if your family qualifies for free lunches. 
  • Consider buying: Don’t assume that it’s cheaper to make a lunch than to buy one. According to statistics for one school system, you can save about $1.83 per day, or $329/year, if your child buys a school lunch instead of bringing one from home. However, that changes when you buy in bulk, by purchasing and preparing homemade lunches for four kids instead of one.
  • Research the best options: Check out the ChooseMyPlate.gov website, featuring food purchasing and meal preparation tips to help you serve nutritional and affordable meals for your family. The Healthy Eating on a Budget section is especially helpful.
4.  Save on prescriptions
Kids going back to school often get sick. If this happens and your doctor prescribes medication for your child, you can save an average of 42 percent by using the free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card:

  • Get the card: Just print out a FamilyWize card (or use the online form to request one be mailed to you) on our site, show it to your pharmacist when picking up your prescription, and ask for the lowest price.
  • Use the app: The FamilyWize smartphone app works the same as the card, and allows you to instantly start saving up to 75 percent on your prescriptions. It also lets you easily compare drug prices at virtually any pharmacy in your area by using the Drug Price Lookup.
To download the FamilyWize app, search in your app store for “FamilyWize,” or follow these links to the Apple App Store,  Google Play, or the Windows Store.


Live Healthy. Live Smart.
Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer