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Make back-to-school shopping a breeze

It may still feel like summer, but the new school year officially has arrived. From crayons and notebooks to clothes and computers, back-to-school shopping is one of the most expensive times of the year for families. Here are some suggestions for ways you can save: 

TAKE STOCK OF WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE 

Before heading to the store, look around your home and check your child’s backpack to see what supplies you could use for the upcoming school year. You’ll be surprised how many items you’ll discover that still have plenty of life left. Things like erasers, pencils, pens and notebooks don’t have a shelf life. 

SHOP WITH A PLAN 

Make a list and set a budget before you go shopping. Make note of how much you’re willing to spend on various items on the list and try to stick to it. If you have older children, this process can be a valuable lesson in personal finance. 

COMPARE PRICES BEFORE YOU BUY 

Do your research, and scour the sale papers for the best deals. Then, take your shopping list and flyers to one store and ask for a price match. Many big-box stores will match the price if it’s the same brand. This is a terrific way to save time and effort while getting the best price in town on school supplies. 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TAX HOLIDAYS 

Dozens of states hold a sales tax holiday to offer parents some relief. During these days, sales tax will not be levied on clothing, shoes, some accessories and school supplies if the sale price of a single item is less than $100. Many cities and counties also waive local sales tax during the sales tax holiday. 

WAIT TO BUY 

Don’t feel pressured to get every item on your child’s supply list before the first day of school. Ask the teachers which items are needed right away and purchase any remaining supplies later. You may get better deals in September and beyond. 

While you’re out checking off the school shopping list, thinking beyond school needs could save you money in the long run. Back-to-school sales aren’t the only reason to stock up on classroom essentials for your kids. You can use discount school supplies later. 


Navigator Credit Union has 12 branches along the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts. Learn more at navigatorcu.org or call 800-344-3281. 

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