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August 16, 2016

Soon, the kids will be back in class. In many stores, summer liquidations are already making way for school supplies. Some parents dread this time of the year as they see their money flying out the window on new wardrobes and school bags. Here are some clever tips to reduce your school expenses:

  • Take inventory. First and foremost, we encourage you to take an inventory of the extra school supplies that you already have at home. You can also reuse some items in order to shorten your shopping list. Why buy certain things if you already have leftovers in a drawer or if last years’ supplies are still in good condition?
  • Buy used. Check around with friends and family or in thrift stores in order to swap or buy used. Some even find takers by having a neighbourhood garage sale with several families. You can then fill your wallet while finding clothing and used items for your child!
  • Shop at a discount. By flipping through flyers, you can get a better idea of the best sales. Since all saving tips are good, you could also, for example, exchange your Air Miles rewards or subscribe to various newsletters that will help you get additional discounts. And don’t forget to shop early to avoid the rush and impulse purchases.
  • Buy quality. With the money you will save by applying the above-mentioned tips, know that it is possible to invest certain items that are “guaranteed for life”, such as Lavoie brand school bags. Instead of buying a new one every year or when it gets damaged, your “lifetime guaranteed” backpack will help you save in the long run! However, neutral colors are are preferable to avoid short-term fashion trends. Granted, the cost of such an item will be more expensive than its warranty-free counterpart, but all in all, you will come out on top the following year when you don’t have to buy another backpack!
  • Budget shrewdly. We recommend not giving into temptation, especially if your budget is tight. With exception, brand named items are to be avoided; you will often find their no-named counterpart at a much lower cost. Remember, once school starts, you will most likely still have associated expenses. We also encourage you to shop without your children! They sometimes have expensive tastes and a very well-developed sense of persuasion!
  • Plan for next year. Planning ahead is your best ally. By starting to save now in anticipation of next year, you will avoid many worries. By depositing a portion of every paycheque in a savings account where it will grow, you will have the money when you need it. You could also discount shop all throughout the year to save even more!

Provided you incorporate them into your everyday life, these savings tips could help you save hundreds of dollars, or even more for larger families. While many see the new school year as a tedious and expensive time, tell yourself that it is a savings challenge of which you will come out a winner!

Happy Back-to-School!

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