Back-to-school shopping has looked a bit different over the past few years. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, school supply prices have continued to be on the rise. According to The National Retail Federation, the average family expects to spend $864 on school supplies, which is $15 more than last year and $168 more than before the pandemic. This means families need to be a bit more savvy and budget for back-to-school shopping this year.
Here’s how you can save money and spend less on school essentials:
Shop online and compare prices
Instead of driving to different department stores for supplies, try searching online and comparing prices that way. By shopping online, you can find sale items easier and pick and choose where you want to buy from. Plus, you’re less likely to get distracted by your kids and any of the items they are likely to find in different aisles along the way. Keep an eye out for online back-to-school deals from retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target ahead of the school year.
Find coupons and wait for deals
It may seem time consuming, but searching for coupons is an effective way to save money during the school shopping season. Coupon browser extensions like Honey, RetailMeNot, and Coupert make it easy to find all the best deals and will even apply them automatically. This time of year there are also major sales on electronics and clothing that you should take advantage of. If you’re not finding savings, consider waiting for the post-shopping season sales that usually happen in late September or early October after the school year has already started.
Also, check out this list of New Jersey back-to-school shopping deals from local retailers before the new school year begins.
Buy in bulk
When it comes to items like pens, notebooks, staples, and paper – buying them in bulk can get you the biggest bang for your buck. It’s typically always cheaper to purchase in bulk compared to by unit, especially if you have a large family. It’s even better if you can apply a coupon or find a sale on bulk items during your next shopping trip.
Shop with a credit card for rewards
Did you know you can get rewarded for your back-to-school shopping? Sure, finding deals is crucial – but you can also get value back for the money you spend. Earn 3% cash back or double rewards on back-to-school shopping through 9/30 on all First Financial Visa Cash Plus Credit Card purchases.*
Don’t have our Cash Plus Card? Apply today.
Don’t let back-to-school shopping overwhelm you! There are plenty of ways to spend less this year if you play your cards right. That’s why we’re here to help – our team can give recommendations based on your financial situation and even help you apply for a First Financial credit card. Contact us to get started, or stop by your local branch to speak with a representative today!
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*A First Financial membership is required to obtain a Visa® Cash Plus Credit Card. A $5 deposit in a base savings account is required for credit union membership prior to opening any other account/loan. APR varies up to 18% for the Visa Cash Plus Card when you open your account based on your credit worthiness. This APR is for purchases and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Subject to credit approval. Rates quoted assume excellent borrower credit history. Your actual APR may vary based on your state of residence, approved loan amount, applicable discounts and your credit history. No Annual Fees. Other fees that apply: Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Fees of 3% or $10, whichever is greater; Late Payment Fee of $29, $10 Card Replacement Fee, and Returned Payment Fee of $29. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a VISA Credit Card and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties.