Ways to save on Back-To-School shopping

Consumer Reports recommends shopping with a plan

There are still great ways to save money before the school year.

Some children in Southwest Virginia are already heading back to the classroom, but if you are still working on shopping for supplies, don’t worry. There are still great ways to save money before the school year.

According to Consumer Reports, prices on some products are still just as low or even lower than they were a few weeks ago. This is good news for last-minute shoppers.

CR always recommends shopping with a plan. If you set a budget before you go to the stores, you can figure out how much you can spend on various items on your list and you will avoid impulse purchases.

Electronics are popular during the back-to-school season, but as we all know, they can be expensive. Consumer Reports suggests buying refurbished electronics, rather than splurging on brand-new ones.

Samantha Gordon, the Deals Editor at Consumer Reports says, “As long as they are from a reputable dealer, whether it is from Amazon as a reseller or the manufacturer themselves, you can also look at previous year models. That item that came out in 2020 that might not be as brand new as the 2022 version is still going to perform really well.”

Gordon also advises that you compare prices before you buy. A few minutes of searching online can help you make sure you are getting the best possible deal.

CR also recommends spreading out your shopping to save money.

Most shoppers will look to major retailers like Amazon, Target and Walmart, but these are not your only options. Good places to find discounted school supplies are the dollar stores, office supply stores and wholesale retailers. You might be able to save money by buying different items at different stores.

If you notice that something has gone on sale after you bought it, you still might be able to get some of your money back.

“A lot of retailers have policies in place for this. So, if you reach out to customer services and you can give them your receipt or your shopping order, if you bought it online, they might refund you that partial difference,” Gordon says. “So you can get money back even though you have already made the purchase. So it is a good idea to keep an eye out for those items after you bought them to see if the prices drop.”

You can also benefit from waiting to shop. Don’t feel pressured to get every single item on your child’s supply list before the first day of school. It’s best to ask the teachers which items are needed right away, then purchase the remaining supplies later.