As the first day of school approaches, students all over the country are finalizing their school supply lists. From pencils to paper to electronics, it’s easy to become overwhelmed thinking of all you need to purchase and how much money it will cost to do so.
The cost of back-to-school supplies increases every year as teachers need more supplies for their classrooms, and students need more items to help them succeed.
Whether you are a parent looking to provide your little one with everything on their extensive school supply list or a student looking to purchase your own items, here are a few ways to save on back-to-school supplies
Take advantage of tax-free holidays
Most states offer a tax-free week or weekend during which you can purchase school supplies and even clothing without paying sales tax. This is typically in August, but you can double-check the precise dates in your state.
This weekend makes shopping affordable because retailers do not charge sales tax on any items. This can add up to big savings if you have expensive items to purchase for back to school.
Rent instead of buying
One way to save money on your back to school items is to rent rather than buy them. Books can be rented online through various companies, which can save you substantially on the cost of textbooks. Most college courses use books you can rent online, which means hundreds of dollars in savings.
If you’re in the market for new clothing to return to school in, you can also try to rent your clothing. Companies such as Rent the Runway and Ann Taylor Loft let you choose items to wear on a monthly basis for a fraction of the cost.
Rent the Runway, for example, rents designer items you can wear as often or as little as you want. Once you’re done, just send them back and replace them for next to nothing each month. It’s more affordable than buying your items, and you get new clothes every few weeks.
Go in with friends
If you check for supplies online, you might find it’s cheaper to buy them when they are in bulk packages. If you don’t have any need for more than one of an item, go in with your friends or classmates to buy the items and share.
You can save significantly doing this, and everyone wins. For example, if you find the notebooks you need in a package of six, you don’t need to buy six of them for yourself. Split the cost with your friends. You get what you need, but you pay a fraction of the price. It’s a simple way to save.
If you’re an older student in need of electronics, you might not find that your items are affordable when you buy them at one time. Fortunately, there are financial websites like Afterpay that allow you to purchase an item you need by making a small payment and then making the rest of your payments every two weeks.
These payments are interest-free, which means you don’t pay more to finance them. You just pay a quarter of the total price of your item upfront, and then you make automatic payments every two weeks after that until you’ve paid four times.
There are endless possibilities for you to purchase new school supplies prior to the school year beginning. Getting creative allows you to save money when you shop for supplies, and it allows you to get them for less than other people pay. It’s an expensive time of year for many people, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get your supplies.