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Eight tips for frugal back to school shopping

Have you started back to school shopping? This year is supposed to be one of the most expensive yet for school supplies. We have just a few weeks left of summer here in Connecticut, but I already started shopping to save money! If you're looking for ways to save money for the new year, here are my Tips for Frugal Back to School Shopping.

Why I Wait to Shop for the New School Year

I know school is back in session in some parts of the country already, but we don't go back to school until September 1st. I like to shop for the new school year over the course of a few weeks (sometimes months). Instead of shoving all of our shopping into 1-2 days, I shop smart by waiting for sales to make purchases. 

This year Ailey starts kindergarten and Annabelle starts third grade in the upper elementary school – so they both need new backpacks! I am so happy I waited until their favorite backpacks and lunchboxes went on sale to buy them. 

My favorite stores are having sales: pricier high quality at 40% off and less expensive but good quality end of season sale. We will buy a few warm weather outfits for the new school year, but will wait to buy cool weather items until mid-September. There is no point in purchasing long sleeves, pants, and sweaters when it could be 80-degrees the first few weeks of school. 

8 Tips for Frugal Back to School Shopping


1.Take stock of what you have at home - Did you buy a big box of glue sticks last year and shove them in a closet somewhere? I know I did... Amazon always has inexpensive items in bulk we need throughout the year (or donate to the classroom) that I stock up on!

2.Make a clear list of what you need to avoid impulse purchases. 

3.Spread out purchases - don't shop all at once and wait for sales/tax free weekend.

4.Split bulk deals with friends - especially if your kids are in the same class or neighborhood.

5.Compare prices of big ticket items before you buy (especially electronics!).

6.Look for discounts - follow stores on social media for special flash sales and coupons. For example, Pottery Barn Kids is hosting a back to school sale right now!

7.Wait it out - especially for clothing! Labor Day/Columbus Day sales are the best time to buy cold weather clothes - not now when it is still hot outside!

8.Shop second hand clothing or do a clothing swap with friends who are different sizes. There is nothing wrong with a good hand-me-down.

Bonus: Don't forget to check for any Tax Free Week sales! Connecticut's 2022 Sales Tax Free Week is Sunday, August 21, through Saturday, August 27, 2022. This tax holiday lasts for an entire week and offers no sales tax on clothing purchases. Shoppers can buy clothing items for under $100 each as well as some school supplies.


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