10 Ways To Save Money On Back To School Shopping And A $25 Target Gift Card Giveaway

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With the start of the school year just around the corner, you probably have a long list of supplies to buy. Add to that any clothing needs your child might have not to mention the expense of school lunches & fees to think about and your budget may be feeling the squeeze. 
Here are ten ways to save money on your back to school shopping.


1) Shop closets first. – Before you buy anything, go through your kids’ closets and figure out what still fits and what doesn’t. You don’t want to spend money on what you don’t need. If possible, utilize hand me downs. Most of my youngest daugther’s wardrobe comes from her big sister. 
2) Shop consignment sales. Shopping consignment sales is one of my favorite ways to save on kids’ clothing.  You can get gently used name-brand clothing for only slightly more than you’d pay at a thrift store most of the time. If you’ve never shopped at a consignment sale be sure to read how I save on kids’ clothing at consignment sales.
3) Shop thrift stores. I love the adventure of shopping at thrift stores. Some days you’ll walk out with nothing but other days you’ll leave with fabulous deals. Since there’s no guarantee you’ll find what you need, it’s best to keep a running list of clothing items needed so you can pick them up at a thrift store as you find them.

4) Shop clearance racks. Shopping clearance is similar to shopping at thrift stores. Keep a running list of items needed. You won’t always find what you’re looking for but when you run across something you need at a great price you can grab it. Many times you can use a coupon released by a store on clearance items so be sure you check online for coupons before you head out. 

5) Shop yard sales. This strategy requires the most patience. As always, keep a running list of items needed and take the list with you. I’d also suggest you don’t go with high expectations. Yard sale-ing is more about the process than anything. You may not find what you need but then you may hit the jackpot and find someone clearing out a closet full of kids clothing in just the size you need. And next to hand me downs, this is where you’ll find your biggest savings so be patient. 

School Supplies 

6) Reuse supplies. Many supplies can be reused from one year to the next. Scissors, rulers, pencil boxes & pouches, binders, lunch boxes, water bottles and backpacks can all be reused. Yes, they’ll have to be replaced from time to time but they can usually make it through at least two or three school years. I love the lunch boxes from The Children’s Place. They last forever. (That’s not an affiliate link. I just think they’re a great find!).

7) Shop the sales. From mid-July through early September you’ll find great deals on school supplies. There are lots of stores competing for your back to school dollars and they offer some great deals to try to get you in the door. Don’t spend your time chasing them all down but do check out the sales flyers so you can get the best deals at the stores near you.
8) Use coupons. There really are coupons out there to help you save on your school supply shopping. Here are some to help boost your savings.
From Coupons.com:
$0.55 off one package of Brawny 2 Giant
$0.75 off Any one (1) Angel Soft facial tissue
$1.00 off any two Ziploc Brand bags 

From SmartSource:

Back To School Coupons from Target

9) Get crafty. Instead of buying an expensive binder with your kids favorite character on it, suggest they get creative and personalize a less expensive plain binder. They can draw a picture of the family, their favorite character, or something that makes them happy like a day at the beach or they can make a collage of their favorite things. Then they can just slip their design into the front of the binder for a unique personalized look.  

You can use the same idea with backpacks. Instead of buying a character backpack when you know they’ll have outgrown that character by next year, suggest a more generic looking backpack that they can carry for years and let them add a fun character clip-on. These can be easily changed out as your child’s taste change from year to year and can be bought quite inexpensively.

10) Buy ahead. It’s too late to utilize this tip this year but you can keep it in mind for next school year. As you run across school supplies on clearance throughout the year, pick them up and put them back until next year. For example, a few weeks after the start of the school year backpacks will go on clearance. If you know your kid’s backpack will need to be replaced by next school year, pick it up at 75% off and save it for next year. 

Shopping for school supplies doesn’t have to break the bank. A few smart shopping strategies will allow you to take care of that list while keeping your spending in check. 

And since I love my readers, I want to make back to school shopping a little easier for one of you. So, I’m giving away a $25 Target gift card to help purchase some of those school supplies! 

Win It! 
One (1) Frugal & Focused reader will win a $25 Target gift card. 

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To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. You can log in through Facebook or with your email address. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is not associated in any way with Target or any brands mentioned. This giveaway is sponsored by me and all opinions expressed are my own. 

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.

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Janet is a mom to two daughters and is married to her best friend. Her belief that we are blessed so that we may bless others fuels her writing at frugalandfocused.com where she shares her thoughts on faith, family, and frugal living. She strives to make the most of what she's given in life and hopes to inspire others to do the same.