The school season is just around the corner and with it, comes the need for purchasing school supplies. The shopping and getting all the necessary supplies such as clothing, stationery and other important things can put a dent in your budget. While most of us will try to cut back on some items and save a little extra on expenses, there are better ways to plan your budget for back-to-school supplies.

Check out some tips on how you can reduce your outlay on back-to-school supplies.

1. Make a List

Make a list of things your child will need after joining school. Involve your child in the planning process and re-check if you have missed something such as art supplies or other specific must-haves.

2. Check the Current Inventory

Before you head to the market, explore at home. It is not necessary to buy everything brand new. Some items can be re-utilized such as shoes that can be used for a little longer, t-shirts, unused notepads, new pens and folders. Once you have checked at home, remove the items you don’t need to buy from your shopping list.

3. Review and Budget

The actual meaning of budgeting is to set an approximate limit considering how much you can spend on these supplies. Keeping this limit in mind, list out important supplies and calculate the estimated costs. If the expenditure is far more than the estimated cost, then review the list again and try to remove some items.

4. Check for Clearance Sales

Keep checking for clearance sales both offline and online and as soon as you encounter one, start ordering. Find as many things from the list as you can and buy these essentials. You may be tempted to buy extra supplies during clearance sale to avoid additional costs in the future. While this is not a bad idea you should first buy important items, check your budget and then buy extra if you have money left.

5. Purchase in Bulk

Value-for-money bulk deals will save you more money eventually. You can also consider purchasing in bulk by going shopping with other mums. What are the benefits? When you purchase supplies in bulk, you can get heavier discounts and bulk prices are generally low.

6. Reuse and Recycle

There are some school supplies that you can reuse and recycle easily. For e.g., you can get the old school bag dry-cleaned to use it again. If the lunch box is still in good condition, you can avoid buying a new one.

7. Check Online Stores

Online stores usually offer discounts to first time users. You can check a few websites online and see if you can get a discount. It would also be a good idea to sign up for newsletters from such websites for the future, so you can stay up-to-date with the latest offers on back-to-school supplies before stocks sell out.

8. Shop Off-Season

You can use this trick for the next back-to-school season. Shop during mid-school year to take advantage of off-season prices. Go to the stores and look for necessary back-to-school supplies that’ll still come in use next year. You’ll notice that most of the stores offer discounts to promote sales during the off-season.

9. Don’t Compromise on Quality

While buying back-to-school supplies, there is no reason to skip on quality. Yes, you may receive products at lower prices, but that is not how you should maintain your budget. Low quality supplies may get damaged or worn-out sooner and then you will have to spend more on them again. So even if it takes a little extra money, always buy quality supplies because there will be a possibility of using some of these next year too.