It’s that time of year again where the kids are headed back to school. It means a shopping spree is in your near future, but not the kind that brings you the warm fuzzies.
How much do parents spend a year on back-to-school shopping?
According to the National Retail Foundation, parents are expected to spend nearly $83 billion dollars in 2018 on back-to-school supplies for their kids and teens bound for college. On average, parents of K-12 students will spend more than $200 on clothes and more than $100 on items like notebooks, pencils, and lunchboxes.
If you have more than one kid going back to school this year, it can be a huge hit to your finances.
How do you find the best deals when back to school shopping?
So the best bet for you is to look for the deals and discounts. Every big box store, office supply chain and drug store offers a discount on something, the trouble is getting all those discounts to line up in your favor.
Lucky for you, you can make Target your one-stop shop for everything you need this year.
9 Target Back to School Hacks
1. Target Price Match
First and foremost, remember Target price matches. So if you find something for cheaper at another store, you can get a refund. All you have to do is bring in the competitor ad within 14 days of your purchase. Check the Target website for details.
2. Buy Target Gift Cards Online
Since you’re already planning to shop at Target, consider buying your gift cards ahead of time. Sites like Raise sell used Target gift cards at a discount, which means you can save before you shop. Just make sure you’re shopping through a reputable gift card resale site before you buy. Sign up for Raise here.
3. Use a Cash Back Program such as Ebates
When you’re shopping online, use a cash back program such as Ebates that gives you a percentage back of your sale. Get $10 when you sign up for Ebates with this link.
4. Kids Clothing Markdowns
Since hundreds of dollars are spent every year on clothes, knowing the Target markdown schedule is essential. According to The Balance Everyday, kids clothing is marked down on Mondays. If you show up early on a Monday, you can get quality back to school clothes at discount prices.
5. Buy the Loss Leader
According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, the loss leader is a pricing strategy used by stores. You’re enticed in by insane savings, such as 10 cents for a 12 pack of pencils. The idea is you’ll buy that and then buy a few other items at full price. Savvy shoppers take advantage of the loss leader, but skip the full priced items.
6. Shop the End Caps
Here’s a good one from Bargain Babe, shop the end caps. Many times, the shelves at the end of the aisle have clearance items. You might find a great steal on one of those end caps.
7. Wait to Buy Non-Essential Items
If your kid doesn’t need an item right away, hold off. Stores put excess back to school supplies on sale after the school year starts. Rather Be Shopping says if you wait until September, you can save as much as 75% – 90% as retailers try to make room for the Halloween candy.
8. Reuseable Bag Refund
Target is one of the few stores that will pay you to reuse your bags. As Cheapism reports, the company takes 5 cents off your bill for every reuseable bag you use during your shopping trip. Considering all the school supplies you have to buy, every penny counts.
9. Use the REDcard
You hear about it all the time, but this one can’t be overlooked. Use the Target REDcard and receive 5% off your entire purchase. Magnify Money takes an in-depth look at the REDcard.