Oakman School News

Back to School On A Budget

August, 2012
It’s that time of year again when families tune into the phrase “Back to School.” We know that the lazy summer days are almost over when retailers bombard us with their ads and commercials. It is time for parents and children to think of schedules and routines, homework and assignments, rules and regulations. Parents rejoice in not having to hear the phrase “I am bored.” any longer.

What can you do to ensure that back to school shopping does not create a huge hole in your family budget this year, especially if you have more than one child to shop for? If you plan ahead, do a little research, and be patient you can surely salvage your pockets and not break the bank, even in this difficult economy.

Here are some tips for you to consider:

1. Use the store flyers to research prices. You will know if it is a good price, just like grocery shopping, when you see the desired item in multiple store ads and compare. Retailers are in competition for your business. You are in control here.

2. Start in early August when flyers and ads come out and the frenzy of Back to School begins. Sales are best at this time when everyone is not looking for that coveted item. Also, keep your eyes peeled throughout the year for supplies on sale or clearance. You can keep these items stored away for when it is back to school time.

3. Purchase clothing and shoes that are summer clearance at great discounts as September and October are still fairly warm months. No need for sweaters yet, even though retailers have them out on the racks for you to buy.

4. Buy only what is necessary. Your children can con you into many things that are not needed. Fancy and fashionable items like binders and lunch bags can really add up. Purchase what is needed and when the teacher gives the class list you can return to buy what you missed.

5. Invest in quality items that will last. This will save you money, even though you may spend a little more, you will not be replacing the item as often. A good calculator or a sturdy backpack are smart investments. These need to be durable to last a minimum of a year.

6. Use store incentives. Many have promotions that give you an extra percentage off or more dollars to spend in their particular store once you surpass a specified dollar amount. Use coupons and never buy anything that is not at least 20% off.

7. And lastly, let the children take ownership of this task too, so that they may learn the value of the dollar and have pride in staying within a budget. It could be like a game. If they do well, you can reward them with an item that they wanted, but not needed because they stayed within their budget, they can now afford to purchase it.

. Keep in mind that once the retail frenzy is over all these items will be on clearance. If you are patient you can get great bargains at that time and only buy what is necessary now.

Good Luck to all Oakman students in the new 2012-2013 school year!
See you all soon