Back to school: Money-saving shopping strategies

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published Feb 2, 2021

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Where possible take the time to look for discounts and take advantage of back-to-school promotions.

Here are a few ways to pay less for the things your kids need for school, as suggested by Better Today, NBC.

Don’t buy what you have: Unless this is the first year you’re buying school supplies, chances are you have some stuff left over from last year. Sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget. Look around the house and see what’s there before you rush out to buy everything on your shopping list.

Have a plan: Set a budget. Figure out what you need and how much you can afford to spend on various categories, such as stationery, school uniform and electronics. It’s easier to overspend when you don’t have a plan and don’t keep track of what you’re buying.

Stock up when possible: If you can afford it, buy items you know the children will need later in the year when you see them on sale.

It's okay to wait for some things: Chances are you don’t need to buy everything on the stationery list before the first day of school. You might find better deals on supplies after school starts. “Instead of buying all your kids’ school clothes in one go, get a couple of outfits to start and pick up the rest later,” says personal finance writer Lyle Daly.

Be on the lookout for student discounts: Students at tertiary institutions can get discounts on a variety of purchases, such as textbooks and computers.

Don’t pay full price for expensive tech items: If you’re thinking about buying from Amazon, Best Buy or other stores offering used tech stuff, “read the fine print on your return rights, guarantees, and warranties,” Checkbook says.

Save on university textbooks: You can save hundreds of rand by buying second-hand books (physical copies or digital versions) or buying used copies. Go to Google and find sites where you can download study material for free, or at discounted prices. Some also sell used textbooks.

Check with your child’s school if they offer copies of textbooks and other materials that are set aside at the library for short-term use by students taking a specific course.

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